PAC students One step ahead. at Voestalpine

On the 24th of May 2024, the PAC students of the JKU Business School visited Voestalpine and received insights into one of the world’s leading technology and steel manufacturing companies. The day began with a warm welcome by Dr. Ernst Balla, HR Director of Voestalpine Metal Forming Division, who provided the students a day filled with learning and exploration. Mr. Balla’s introduction was followed by a comprehensive presentation on the business strategy of Voestalpine by Mathias Farthofer, the Head of Corporate Development. He provided an overview of Voestalpine’s structure, highlighting its four main divisions: Steel division, High Performance Metals, Metal Engineering, and Metal Forming. Each division holds a global (quality) leadership position in its respective field.

A significant portion of the presentation was dedicated to Voestalpine’s innovation highlights, especially their advancements towards zero CO2 emission until 2050 and the digital railway infrastructure systems. These systems employ predictive maintenance to ensure 24/7 track availability, leveraging intelligent rails, turnouts, and drive systems equipped with advanced sensor and chip technology. This innovation allows for simple, centralized management of critical infrastructure, enhancing efficiency and reliability.

Mr. Farthofer also outlined Voestalpine’s strategic goals for 2030 and beyond. The company’s strategy focuses on value-enhancing growth in a dynamic environment, making decarbonization a business success, capitalizing on new mobility requirements, and achieving an energy transition that transforms the energy industry. Following the morning sessions, the students enjoyed their lunch at the inviting canteen provided by Voestalpine, allowing them to discuss the insights they gained. The afternoon featured a highly anticipated expedition plant tour, giving students a firsthand look at Voestalpine’s state-of-the-art facilities. Throughout the tour, students were encouraged to ask questions and could experience several production steps first-hand.

This excursion offered a unique opportunity for international students to perceive the inner workings of a global industry leader. The combination of theoretical knowledge and practical experience provided a comprehensive understanding of Voestalpine’s operations, innovations, and strategic vision and will be remembered as a vivid experience, also after the study period in Linz.

Credit: Edit Juhász