Swinburne academic: Aussie steel-makers should look to former Nucor boss

Geoffrey Brooks, Professor of Engineering Mathematics at Swinburne University, has suggested that the Australian steel industry needs to innovate and to learn a few lessons from Nucor’s Ken Iverson.

Geoffrey Brooks, Professor of Engineering Mathematics at Swinburne University, has suggested that the Australian steel industry needs to innovate and to learn a few lessons from Nucor’s Ken Iverson.

Brooks, writing for The Conversation, says that the difficulties experienced by BlueScope (who announced a billion-dollar-plus loss yesterday) and others such as Arrium – due to a high Australian dollar and cheap Chinese imports – could be overcome if manufacturers started thinking more broadly.

Iverson, the former Nucor President, innovated the use of mini-mills and rewarding workers through performance bonuses.

Brooks writes that Nucor’s case is proof that Australian steel can bounce back. Nucor grew in the 70s and 80s despite fierce Japanese competition, driven by unconventional management structures and technological imagination.

He suggests that Australian steelmakers could take a lead from Iverson and examine what could be done with things such as natural gas supplies, solar energy, high-tech steel recycling and higher grade products.

To read Brooks’s piece, click here.