22 April 2020 Brussels, Belgium


The World Steel Association (worldsteel) today announced the new World Champions of the 14th steelChallenge. Keun Hak Kim from POSCO in South Korea won in the industry category and Huan Xu from Chongqing University of Science and Technology in China won in the student category.

The World Championship of the 14th steelChallenge took place online on 21 April 2020. Originally scheduled to take place in London, UK, the competition took place remotely to follow the social distancing guidelines of health authorities around the world.

The 5 winners of the Regional Championship from each of the industry and student categories competed for the global title. The task was to produce a specific engineering steel grade at the lowest cost using steeluniversity’s Electric Arc Furnace Steelmaking and Secondary Steelmaking simulators.

Scott Chubbs, Director, steeluniversity, said, “this World Championship presented a new challenge as we had to change plans due to COVID-19. We couldn’t meet in London, so we moved the competition online. The steeluniversity team, the finalists, the faculty advisors and the sponsors were all very supportive. We rethought how we did the championship, and this year, for the first time, we invited people from around the world to view the competition and award ceremony via webinar.”

The 2020 World Champion in the industry category, Keun Hak Kim, said, “steelChallenge is a great opportunity for young industry professionals like me to show our commitment and potential to our companies and to the industry in general. It will be a great advantage to my development. This is not the first time I have entered the competition, so I’m delighted to finally realise my ambition of becoming World Champion.”

Huan Xu, the World Champion in the student category for 2020 said, “I’m so happy to be the student World Champion. I have met other students and professionals from around the world through steelChallenge, so it has really expanded my horizons. It has also been a great personal challenge. I am very proud to have participated.”

The World Champions are:

Student category
Name Affiliation Country
Huan Xu Chongqing University of Science and Technology China
Industry category
Name Affiliation Country
Keun Hak Kim POSCO South Korea

The Regional Champions are:

Student category
Region Name Affiliation Country
Americas Mateus Nunes de Oliveira Univeridade Federal Do Ceará Brazil
Europe and Africa Emerson Edilson Barros de Souza Univeridade Federal Do Ceará France (1)
Asia West Aditya Lara Shavak Nanavati Technical Institute India
Asia North Huan Xu Chongqing University of Science and Technology China
Asia East and Oceania Lee Yun Seong Dong-A University South Korea
Industry category
Region Name Affiliation Country
Europe and Africa Pietro De Seta Cosentino ArcelorMittal France
Americas Franco Andres Gottig Ternium Argentina
Asia West Sumit Kumar Puhan Tata Steel Limited India
Asia North Ma Jingchao HBIS Group Co., Ltd. China
Asia East and Oceania Keun Hak Kim POSCO South Korea

More information on steelChallenge is available on the steeluniversity website.

# Ends #

Notes to Editors:

  • steeluniversity, an initiative of the World Steel Association, is an industry university, delivering education and training to current and future employees of steel companies and related businesses. The goal of steeluniversity is to inspire and motivate students and steel industry people about the value of working in the steel industry to lead change for realising a more sustainable industry that serves a more sustainable world.
  • HBIS Group Co., Ltd. is a ‘Steel’ level sponsor of steelChallenge-14. JSW Steel Limited and Gerdau S.A. are ‘Gold’ level sponsors. ‘Silver’ level sponsors are Emirates Steel Industries Company PJC, the Korean Iron and Steel Association (KOSA), Tata Steel Limited, Tenaris and Ternium. China Steel Corporation (CSC), JFE Steel Corporation and Nucor Corporation are ‘Bronze’ level sponsors.
  • (1) The rules of steelChallenge-14 state a person should compete in the region they are resident at the time of the Regional Championship. The student winner for Europe and Africa is a student of a university in Brazil, but resident in Europe at the time of the Regional Championship while on an internship in France.
  • The World Steel Association (worldsteel) is one of the largest and most dynamic industry associations in the world, with members in every major steel-producing country. worldsteel represents steel producers, national and regional steel industry associations, and steel research institutes. Members represent around 85% of global steel production.
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