M. Manjunathan and S. Chandra Prakash, 2012 batch alumni from the Department of Metallurgy, PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore were crowned world champions at the Seventh Virtual Steel Making Challenge, an international competition, organised by steeluniversity.org, an online initiative of the World Steel Association. The grand finale was held in Brussels recently. They are employees of Tata Steel Limited. The task was to refine an order of steel while maintaining the level of impurities and inclusions within specifications, and at the minimum cost. The winning duo produced a new grade steel in two-and-a-half hours at the lowest cost of $ 25.99 a tonne. They beat their closest competitors from North America, whose product cost was $ 29.51 a tonne.

Management trainees Manjunathan and Chandra Prakash beat a total of 1,148 teams from all over the world to bag the honour in the ‘industry category’. It was no mean feat considering the fact that since the launch of the contest in 2005 India has not bagged any award.

Alexey Mordashov, Chairman of World Steel Association, presented the trophy and certificate to the duo, and said that the future of the steel industry lay in the areas of innovation and high-technology development, which would be driven forward by the winners of the contest.