The CESAREF Kick-off meeting took place in Brussels on Tuesday 21st February 2023. To maximise the benefits and minimise the environmental impacts of the travel to Brussels, in line with the MSCA Green Charter, a large selection of face-to-face activities were organised. The doctoral candidates and their academic and industrial supervisors participated in presentations, soft and hard-skills training, site visits, brainstorming sessions and team building activities from the 20th February to the 27th February.  

The week started with presentations on the European Green Deal and the pathways to CO2 neutral glass, cement and steel industries in Europe. Contributions from Jean Theo GHENDA (Director of Technologies, EUROFER, The European Steel Association, Sido SINNEMA (Knowledge Group Leader Materials Engineering, TATA Steel), Fabrice FASILOW (Float Process Business Excellence & Global Technology and Innovation Float Projects Coordinator, AGC) and Fredericq PEIGNEUX (Lead officer decarbonization, Heidelberg Materials) were well received. 

During the Kick-off day itself, all the participants presented, briefly, their interests and implication in the project, and the 15 doctoral candidates introduced their projects. Round tables were held to facilitate the networking among the candidates, the industrial and academic partners.  

Following on from the Kick-off day, training in some of the basics of refractories materials and their uses was given by Prof. Marc HUGER (IRCER), Jan van der STEL (TataSteel), Aart OVERBOSCH (TataSteel) and Jean-Christophe HUBER (ArcelorMittal). This preceded site tours of AGC, one of the European leaders in flat glass production via the float process, and the TATA Steel site in IJmuiden. 

We didn’t stop there though, the activities continued! Soft-skills training was undertaken with a day of communication skills at the University of Liège and brainstorming sessions were also carried out, between the doctoral candidates and supervisors, which focussed on: 

  • the needs of the students and potential training to be offered to increase their future employability, and 
  • the improvement and modernisation of the CERAMI°K exhibition, which will be a key instrument in our dissemination and outreach efforts over the coming years. 

We even found the time to record short films of the doctoral candidates (with the help of Akimedia) which you will be able to see on the website in the near future.

A long and event filled week was enjoyed by all. 

The full program of the week can be found here.