McGill Metals Processing Centre       






Director's comments

The year 2014 proved to be a successful one for the MMPC. Our High Temperature Melting and Casting facility located off-campus at 630 Stinson Street, is now again fully operational. Similarly, our group has significant research accomplishments, produced valuable research publications, and has received recognition awards.

We will be pleased to welcome you, and show you around our new melting, casting and modelling facilities. The place is much more spacious than the old foundry, with 20ft headroom, concrete floors and walls, and nice office space. So we are now in a position to successfully continue our exciting NSERC and FQRNT funded research on liquid metals processing, on Horizontal Single Belt Casting (HSBC), on research on soft magnetic composite materials produced through single wheel casting, etc., etc.  

In terms of the MMPC water modeling laboratory, this will continue to operate at McGill, together with the MMPC laser confocal microscopy laboratory. So, to summarise, the news
is essentially good. We have gained a lot of new space off-campus for our high temperature work, on melting and casting of ferrous and non-ferrous metals and alloys, while the MMPC will gain extra space at McGill for our water modelling work. There, we will continue our research work on water models of ladles, tundishes, and moulds, and to pursue liquid metal delivery systems initiatives for strip casters. For this, we intend to take advantage of the excellent electrical power facilities that we have used in the past for operating our induction furnaces, in order to build a magneto-hydrodynamic research laboratory adjacent to our MMPC water modelling laboratory. There, we intend to develop research into the proper control of liquid metal flows in caster moulds, and HSBC casting, at the full scale, but using near room temperature liquid metals and alloys. This has been a long time research goal of the MMPC, and is now possible.  It will considerably enhance our future liquid metal research activities for the industry.

In terms of news regarding our Executive Academic Committee, we are pleased to welcome our new Process Metallurgy member, Professor Kinnor Chattopadhyay of University of
Toronto, and previous McGillian. We successfully continue our collaborative research with Professor Mamoun Medraj, of Concordia University on our FQRNT grant on research into the production of lamellar soft magnetic composites. We are in close contact and research collaboration with Professor Szpunar, and his research facilities at the University of Saskatchewan. Professor Janusz Kozinski, of York University, remains strongly affiliated and active in MMPC Operations, as well as Professor Hani Henein, of the University of Alberta. Professor Franco Chiesa of CMQ (Centre de Metallurgie du Quebec) remains strongly connected to the MMPC. Professor Hugh McQueen of Concordia University has an intense relation with the MMPC through his lectures delivered to our MMPC graduate students, as well as Professor Frank Ajersch of École Polytechnique, who is actively engaged in the MMPC through co-supervision of our graduate students in our research related to semisolid forming as well as galvanizing of steel strips. In terms of awards, in 2013 the Dr. Roderick Guthrie and Dr. Mihaiela Isac of the MMPC together with Mr. Frederic Laroche and Mr. Claude Dupuis, of Arvida Research and Development Centre of Rio Tinto Alcan, as well as Mr. Daniel Gagnon, ITC, of ABB International received the XSTRATA Innovation Award, for excellence in Univertsity-Industry Collaboration.

In 2013 Dr. Guthrie (Director MMPC) received the Airey Award of Metallurgical Society of CIM for outstanding achievements in research and in the development of Process Metallurgy for the  light metals and ferrous industries,  carried out with its industrial collaborators, as well as, the 2013 Diamond Jubilee Medal of Queen Elizabeth II, for his contribution to the well-being of Canada and its people, and in 2014, Dr. Guthrie was nominated to become an Honorary Member of the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, Materials and Petroleum Engineers. This is the highest recognition achievable in the USA for people working in the metallurgical industries.

As an example of interaction between our Academic Committee members of various academic organizations is worse to mention the successful outcome in organizing the Light Metals for Transportation Symposium, held during COM 2013 in Montreal, as well as the Symposium Light Metals Production, Processing and Applications to be held during COM 2014 in  Vancouver. Dr. Mihaiela, Symposia Chair, together with Dr. Roderick Guthrie and Dr. Franco Chiesa, Simposia co-chairs succeeded in organizing two important international events on the light metals arena.

Finally, despite the continuing major upheavals in the face of company mergers and takeovers, the MMPC has survived by responding to the continuing needs of the metallurgical
process community. In the end, all steelmakers and light metals producers and manufacturers are engaged in generating metal products at the lowest cost, more efficiently, and more quickly. While the recently industrializing nations can compete on the basis of lower labour costs and newer equipment, the established steelmaking nations have expertise and infrastructure. It is the dynamic balance between these two sets of assets, and global politics/economics, that will determine the future course of our global industry. Meantime, at the MMPC, we have assembled a fine array of unique and valuable research equipment that we have managed to keep intact, and to augment. We will also continue to welcome able graduate students from Canada and around the world, to study Process Metallurgy at the MMPC.  

Respectfully submitted
Roderick Guthrie, FRSC, FCAE, FCIM, Eng.
Director, McGill Metals Processing Centre.