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New Interactive Simulation of Continuous Casting have recently made an evaluation version of their latest simulation available on their website and are seeking feedback from academic users. (

In this new module, you will play the role of plant metallurgist in charge of a continuous casting machine. The aim of the simulation is to successfully sequence cast three ladles meeting the specified criteria of surface quality, internal quality and inclusion content. Prior to casting, you will need to select various parameters, such as steel grade, target casting speed, water cooling rate and mold oscillations. Once the simulation begins, you can control the flow of liquid steel between the ladle, tundish and molds. As the strand emerges, you can flame-cut it into lengths. And try at all times to avoid a breakout of liquid from the mold!

Payment for reviews of educational videos

Education Media On-Line (EMOL) is a JISC funded programme exploring the use of video in teaching. Their collection contains hundreds of hours of high quality film covering all disciplines, and any clips downloaded may be used freely in teaching and research. (

More complete information about this work may be found here:

If you currently use video in your teaching, or are contemplating using video in the future, please take the time to complete our survey.

Are we stifling student creativity and innovation?

The Department of Engineering at the University of Liverpool recently held a workshop with its industrial advisory committee to consider the importance of encouraging creativity and innovation amongst undergraduates. Two important conclusions were that undergraduate projects tend to be too tightly defined to encourage innovation, and that the crowded timetable provides no opportunity for students to reflect on their learning – essential for creative thinking.

Employers have repeatedly identified innovation and creative problem solving amongst the most desirable attributes of employees. It is important that we develop our curricula and teaching approaches to better equip our graduates with these skills, and UKCME would like to focus on this issue in the coming year. If you have a particular interest in this subject, and suggestions for teaching development projects, please Adam Mannis.

See 'Trooping the Colour' at IOM3

The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining is opening its doors for the Trooping of the Colour event on 11 June to raise funds for the Quicksilver Team World Water Speed Record campaign. A limited number of tickets are available for this event.

Support for Younger Members of the IOM3

Building on the success of previous conferences, the 4th Materials Research Conference will provide an opportunity for young engineers, scientists and technologists to exchange ideas, improve presentation skills, increase materials knowledge and develop industrial and academic links.

The conference will be held on 21 June 2005 at Carlton House Terrace, and UKCME are offering a number of travel bursaries to PhD students who cannot secure their own funding. For more information contact Siobhan Matthews at

We will also be providing similar bursaries to support attendance at the IOM3 Soft Skills Seminar in November 2005, and more information will be available nearer the time.

Murder in the Tower

Raising public awareness of materials science and promoting it as an attractive option for university study remains a priority for UKCME. For the last three years UKCME and The Armourers & Brasiers' Company have funded materials education programmes at The Tower of London. Mandy Martin-Smith, the science teacher in residence, has developed a number of education sessions to introduce visiting school groups to materials science alongside history.

Mandy had adopted a very creative approach to using the history and artefacts available at the Tower of London to help children and their teachers develop an interest and understanding of science. As an example, one session explores the methods and materials used in the production of armour with reference to the Royal armour on display. The emphasis is on enabling the children to produce a metal artefact that can be taken back to school.

UKCME will be working with Mandy to explore how her educational resources may be used to promote materials science in schools across the UK. More information on the Royal Armouries’ education programmes can be found at

Conferences and Events

Science Learning & Teaching Conference, 27-28 June 2005, Warwick

There is still time to register for this conference featuring over 40 papers on a range of issues in science education. (

IOM3 Materials Congress, 5-7 April 2006, London

Congress 2006 will cover the complete materials cycle, from minerals exploration and extraction, through processing, product manufacture and applications, to product recycling and land re-use.

The Congress programme will combine technical symposia of oral presentations with keynote speakers and six major plenary lectures held over three days, with poster sessions and a full supporting programme of public lectures, exhibitions, special events and social meetings.

Oral and poster papers are currently being invited (

On-line Events Diaries

IOM3 maintain on-line diaries of regional, national and international conferences and events of interest to materials scientists. A permanent link to these will soon be placed in our Forthcoming Events page, and they can be accessed directly at:

IOM3 Regional Event Diary (

IOM3 Worldwide Events Diary (







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