Katie's PhD addresses copper contamination in steel recycling. The volume of steel scrap is set to expand dramatically in the coming decades. Copper is pervasive in this scrap, but a process does not exist to extract it. Copper causes metallurgical problems, so end-of-life steel scrap is recycled to low-quality products. Katie has characterized copper contamination in the global steel system, showing new strategies to manage copper are increasingly necessary. She has analyzed the thermodynamic, kinetic and technological limitations to the development of a steelmaking process that could extract copper from steel. She has identified a process route that would be most efficient and will spend the remainder of the PhD investigating the phenomena central to the process.
Katie graduated with an Honors Bachelors in Materials Science and Engineering and Honors Research Distinction in Welding Engineering from The Ohio State University in 2015. She grew up in Columbus, Ohio and joined the group in October 2015. She is the third generation of metallurgists in her family and is excited to be working in this area where metallurgy and sustainability meet.