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ArcelorMittal funds new chair

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Publié le samedi 11 septembre 2010

The world's largest steelmaker ArcelorMittal announced that it will fund a new chair of Façade Engineering at the University of Luxembourg.

The research will be aimed at promoting the development of energy-efficient high-tech buildings made of steel, steel composites and glass. The ArcelorMittal Foundation will provide a total of EUR 750,000 in funding to the University of Luxembourg over a period of five years for the "ArcelorMittal Chair of Façade Engineering" in the field of steel-intensive construction. The Foundation focuses on engagements in Education, Health, Safety and Social Promotion in the countries where ArcelorMittal is present. Its actions are aligned with ArcelorMittal’s core values of Sustainability, Quality and Leadership.

The agreement with the university was signed today at the company's headquarters in Luxembourg. Group Management Board member Michel Wurth and Head of Research Gregory Ludkovsky signed for ArcelorMittal and the Chairman of the Board of Governors, Raymond Kirsch, and President Rolf Tarrach signed for the university.

"Research and Development are core activities for ArcelorMittal to maintain and improve the competitiveness of steel, for the benefit not only of the Company and steel industry at large, but also for our customers and the environment. We are glad that we found a scientific partner in the University of Luxembourg to focus on research in steel intensive construction. This work will contribute to reducing energy consumption and thus support our approach of delivering sustainable steel solutions," says Michel Wurth. "The combination of our steelmaking competency with the University's research potential is also an opportunity to support Luxembourg on its way to becoming a leading country in the knowledge-based society of the 21st century."

Modern façades in buildings equipped with advanced technology make up as much as one third of construction costs. They integrate construction technology, ventilation and climate control, playing a significant role in the building's energy consumption. High-tech façade systems reduce the energy consumption of buildings. To achieve a reduction in energy consumption, the basic building structure, technology and façade have to mutually complement each other. The researchers at the University of Luxembourg aim to make a contribution in this regard.

The ArcelorMittal Chair in Façade Engineering was awarded to Christoph Odenbreit, a professor of Construction Engineering who heads a laboratory for steel and steel composite construction in the Natural Sciences, Technology and Communications Faculty at the University of Luxembourg. The funding from the ArcelorMittal Foundation is intended to finance a senior researcher and doctoral students. The team will conduct its research in close collaboration with the ArcelorMittal International Scientific network in Steel Construction.

"This chair is an initial step towards an enduring cooperation between Luxembourg's largest employer and our young research university," Professor Rolf Tarrach said, adding that the university is strongly interested in making use of synergies in more intensive cooperation with ArcelorMittal in the future. "Promoting innovation in the area of resource and energy efficiency is among the greatest challenges around the world. We should take them on together," Tarrach said. 

Founded in 2003, the University of Luxembourg has an international orientation and is strongly focused on research. It has now five foundation chairs.