Inspiring Students

April 28, 2016


A new ‘pick and mix’ university course for students has been produced by experts from the stainless steel industry. The course aims to inspire university students of architecture and engineering with the multiple possibilities and advantages of stainless steel in the building and construction sector.
“The capability of stainless steel to provide an attractive and sustainable alternative to other construction materials is not usually taught to architecture and civil engineering students during their studies,” says Bernard Heritier of the International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF). “As a result, architects and civil engineers are not aware of the benefits, applications or design considerations specific to stainless steel. Instead, they are likely to hold the simplistic view that stainless steel costs more than carbon steel!”
The main reason for stainless steel being excluded from university curricula according to Heritier is the lack of time for course preparation and available teaching time. To answer the problem, the ISSF together with a panel of experts from academia and industry, have compiled a comprehensive and concise course aimed to help university lecturers educate students and young civil engineers about the use of stainless steel. Lecturers can use the course in its entirety, or pick and choose the parts that fit their curriculum.
The course covers 11 categories, divided where appropriate into more detailed sections. It has been fine-tuned over the past couple of years by a panel of university academics whose feedback has been incorporated into the overall product. Topics range from stainless steel in art, to applications such as facades, green walls, urban furniture and water distribution. The corrosion and mechanical properties of stainless steel structural applications, stainless steel surfaces and finishes,  joining and fabrication as well as sustainability are all covered.
The course is being used in a variety of ways. Some use the material in tutorials, others are using it for internal training and also as a reference guide as there is a useful list of sources at the end of each chapter. John Tarboton of the Southern Africa Stainless Steel Development Association is an enthusiast. “We present a condensed version to all fourth year architectural students around the country and use the material in specialised workshops, for example on stainless steel in structural applications.”
The course, Stainless Steels for Lecturers and Students of Architecture and Civil Engineering is available for free download from: or
It is published in French and English with other languages planned.

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