The Chief Executive Officer of Acerinox, Bernardo Velázquez, presented yesterday the II Acerinox Prize, to the best university Project on stainless steel, to Almudena Menéndez González, graduated in Industrial Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Madrid, and currently Master's degree student, for her project on the 'Functionalization of surfaces by means of LIPSS with femtosecond laser'.
The objective of this work whose content had the opportunity to explain to the assistants in a detailed presentation, was the obtaining of periodic nanostructures of the HSFL type on the surface of austenitic stainless steel type AISI 304, that improve certain properties. They give rise to a new behaviour with respect to the absorption of light, which allows the permanent colouring of surfaces which studies are being carried out on their possible applications in solar panels. They also modify the behaviour with respect to the humidification of the surface, being able to generate super-hydrophobic surfaces, very necessary in biotechnology, for example for the manufacture of high quality implants, and she wanted to highlight the choice of this material in their project due to the varied "applications and possibilities offered by stainless steel in different industrial sectors".
Mr. Velázquez, who remarked the level of the works presented in this edition and conveyed his congratulations to the winner, also wanted to highlight “the importance of continuing to combine the empowerment of our employees' knowledge and the internal training of the workforce, with the attraction of talent and seek of collaboration with the Technical Schools and Universities, because the rapid advance of the technologies that the industrial sector currently needs to apply to keep competitive, is not easy to follow without a close collaboration with the Universities in which many of these new technologies are developed".
The award ceremony was held in the Auditorium of the ETSII in Madrid, under the chairmanship of the Vice Chancellor of the UPM, Miguel Ángel Gómez, who encouraged in his speech thestaff training, digitalization and dissemination of knowledge of the steel sector.
The General Director of Universities and Higher Education of CAM (Comunidad de Madrid), José Manuel Torralba, stressed the "need to push and promote any action aimed at strengthening relations between the University and the Industry" and the Director of the Higher Technical School of Industrial Engineers of the UPM, Emilio Mínguez, deepened into the idea of highlighting the importance of "collaboration between Academy and Business."
From his part, the Director General of Industry and Small and Medium Enterprises of the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, Mario Buisan, stressed that "it is necessary to articulate an industrial policy with a vision in the medium and long term”, and assured that” the Spanish steel sector is an example of sustainability and circular economy that in our country supports the development of very important industrial sectors ".
The Jury also distinguished with a Special Mention to Marta Muratori Sosa, from the Polytechnic School of Algeciras (University of Cádiz), accrediting a honourable mention from the General Director of Universities of the CAM, José Manuel Torralba.
The Acerinox Prize, designed and promoted by Acerinox in collaboration with Cedinox (Association for the Research and Development of Stainless Steel), has an economic contribution of 3,000 euros, and it is accessible to university students who complete their final degree or master project, related to stainless steels, whether on its use, research or development, in order to promote knowledge about its applications among young architects and engineers at the national level.