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School of Social Sciences research team part of meeting international net zero emissions target

29 April 2024

Man standing near fire

Researchers at Cardiff University’s School of Social Sciences are participating in the European Union funded ALCHIMIA project.

The project is developing a digital platform which comprises artificial intelligence (machine learning) and Big Data to make electric arc furnace (EAF) steelmaking an even more sustainable form of steelmaking from scrap metal.

Dr Dean Stroud, Dr Martin Weinel and Dr Rachel Hale are part of the multi-billion euro Horizon 2020 research programme,  which funds the ALCHIMIA project.

ALCHIMIA received €3.5M in 2020 and will allow steel corporations to optimise steel making processes to reduce the scrap metal, energy, water used, and emissions associated with this high-energy intensive and polluting industry.

Social requirements and human-centred recommendations were developed from data generated by the School of Social Sciences research team in 2023 and will inform the design of the digital platform.

This will help in the effort to meet several UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and international net zero greenhouse gas emissions targets.

Dr Stroud commented, “It’s a real pleasure to host an ALCHIMIA project meeting in Cardiff. The participants were really impressed with the Glamorgan Building, and the welcome we gave them to Cardiff University.

Hopefully the project will go on to really improve the efficiency of EAF steelmaking processes, and in its human-centred design it’ll include the views of all those involved in those same processes.
Dr Dean Stroud Reader

Prior to implementation of the ALCHIMIA platform, the team conducted ex-ante interviews, observations and surveys with managers and steelworkers at steel plants in Spain, France, Poland and Italy.

The team hosted the ALCHIMIA project partners at Glamorgan Building for the project’s bi-annual general assembly meeting.

Fifteen partners attended in person, from Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Greece, with a further eight attending online.

The meeting progressed the project and the digital platform’s technical requirements in view of the human-centred recommendations put forward by the Cardiff team.

The social requirements and human-centric recommendations will help to ensure that the platform is trusted and accepted by the corporations, managers, and steelworkers.

Read the project’s report so far.

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