Kurt Neustaetter (AIST)
AIME J.E. Johnson, Jr. Award in 1947
The modern blast furnace is the result of an evolution extending over more than a century. At first progress was slow, but during the past 50 years it has been extremely rapid; improvements in design and operation have greatly increased production and reduced costs, and a far better understanding of the chemistry of the process has resulted in improved uniformity and higher quality of the iron, and has made it possible regularly to use ores that would have been considered unsuitable 50 years ago. The chemical reactions in the blast furnace cannot be readily duplicated in the laboratory; hence, research work must be on a large scale in the furnace itself. Due to the massive and costly equipment that comprises the furnace and its accessories experimentation, which may interrupt regular operation and produce off-grade iron, is not undertaken lightly. Notable advances in the art and science of reducing iron ores in the blast furnace are, therefore, usually well worth special recognition.
An important percentage of the recent advances in blast-furnace practice have been accomplished by young men, and many of these have received the J. E. Johnson, Jr., award in recognition of their work. The 1947 recipient, Kurt Neustaetter, was nominated for this honor for the data obtained by him on the effect of gas flow on coke consumption and on the use of scrap in blast-furnace burdens, as summarized in papers presented to recent meetings of the Chicago District Blast Furnace and Coke Association.
Kurt Neustaetter was born in Stuttgart, Germany, May 19, 1908. He studied ferrous metallurgy at the Institutes of Technology at Stuttgart and Berlin, graduating in 1932 as a doctor of engineering. After holding several jobs in German iron and steel plants he came to the United States in 1937 and started as a blast-furnace apprentice for Inland Steel Co. In 1940 he was promoted to blast-furnace engineer, the position he now holds. He became an American citizen in 1940. Dr. Neustaetter, in receiving the 1947 J. E. Johnson, Jr., award, is the twentieth young engineer to be enrolled in a distinguished list of men, many of whom have since become this country's foremost authorities on blast-furnace practice.