Engineering Students Tour of Nucor Steel Mill

Date Published: 
November 18, 2014

So what is a “typical day” at a steel plant? Last month, about 45 Lee College of Engineering faculty and students hopped on a bus before sunrise and headed south to gain an insider’s look into the world of steel and to answer that very question.  

Nucor opened their Darlington, SC Steel Mill in the 1960’s and our faculty and students started off their visit by meeting and talking with over a dozen engineers about the steel industry and the facility.  The group was then split up into smaller teams, strapped on protective clothing and equipment and received an up close and personal look at how steel is produced from start to finish!  Nucor makes about 25% of the country’s steel and 95% of their feedstock is from scrap (cars, appliances, etc.) and from that scrap they make over 650 grades of steel bar.  Several UNC Charlotte alumni make up the 22,000 employees Nucor has working at their steel mills throughout the world; with five steel mills located in the Carolinas alone. During the tour, the groups learned about how efficient the Darlington Steel Mill is and Nucor’s stance on sustainability; their kWh per ton is one of the lowest globally!  

Steel mills are getting more high tech and are having to deal with stricter environmental factors so the industry has a strong and continuous need to hire more engineers every year who want to work on a variety of challenging and new projects. Nucor used the day long October 17th tour to promote both their summer internships and full-time opportunities to the Civil, Mechanical and Systems Engineering students who attended.

Special thanks to Nucor Environmental Engineers, Bryan Linton (2010 alumni) and Jeff Braun (VP) and to Rex Query (alum and GM for the Darlington Mill) for hosting us! Thanks to the college’s FLC, EPIC and Departments of Civil and Environmental and Mechanical Engineering for providing transportation to the steel mill.  To learn more about the Darlington, SC Steel Mil visit:

So what is a “typical day” at a steel plant?   “Show up and see what happens.  Always different.” quote Nucor Engineer