McMaster Steel Research Centre – Faculty of Engineering
A person with a welding mask.

McMaster Steel Research Centre

Long established university-industry cooperation

The Steel Research Centre was set up to formalize and expand McMaster University’s well-established research links to Canada’s steel industry.  Now in its third decade, the Centre has strong industrial support and graduates from the Centre are providing technical leadership to the industry worldwide.

The SRC’s research program is designed by its member companies and addresses difficult problems in primary and secondary steelmaking, process optimization and control, hot rolling, advanced high strength steels and metallic coating technology.  Whole-of-process mathematical models have been developed that combine principles of high temperature chemical thermodynamics and kinetics with data from extensive laboratory and plant trials.   The research program is highly collaborative with industry and is strengthened by access to production facilities and the generous advice we receive from prominent steel metallurgists.

Funding for research projects in the Centre comes from industrial membership fees, combined with research grants.  Once a project proposal is approved by the Board, the Principal Investigator applies for grants under various programs of the Canadian federal government or the Province of Ontario.  Since 2000, Centre projects have been awarded over $8M in operating funds and a further $15M towards capital costs to expand laboratory equipment capabilities.  Individual member companies, then, benefit from a significant multiplier of about 9:1 on their annual contributions, as well as access to the Centre’s specialized test facilities.

We are grateful for the support of the following funding agencies:


Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council Programs

Collaborative Research and Development
Industrial Research Chair
Idea to Innovation
Strategic Grants
Alliance Grants

Canada Foundation for Innovation

Innovation Fund
Leaders Opportunity Fund
John R. Evans Leaders Fund


Ontario Centres of Excellence
Ontario Research & Development Challenge Fund
Ontario Innovation Trust
Ontario Research Fund

McMaster University supports Science-based Manufacturing as a key research area.  The SRC combines research objectives established by the steel industry with government funding supporting wealth creation through science.  Developing exploitable technologies motivates and sustains a talented academic research team for the benefit of the steel industry, while producing a stream of knowledgeable engineers ready to make careers in steel. There are three components to the SRC’s mission:

  • Research leading to commercially relevant new approaches to ironmaking, steelmaking process control, waste processing, steel product design and metal forming technologies.
  • Training of highly qualified personnel who can transfer new technology to the steel industry.
  • Continuing education for steel industry engineers to enhance the receptor capacity for innovation.

Guidance from the Centre’s industrial members is an essential principle of the organization. We have built up a membership consisting of the world’s major steel producers, as well as suppliers and engineering consultants to the industry.

  • Early access to research results.
  • Pre-publication copies of papers.
  • Semi-annual reviews.
  • Access to short courses.
  • Non-exclusive, non-transferable, royalty–free licences for in-house use of IP developed by the Centre’s research.
  • Exclusive, transferable, royalty-bearing licence for IP developed by research contracts with the Centre.
  • Research contracts use discounted OH rate (30%)
  • Entitled to transferable, non-exclusive, royalty-bearing licences permitting commercial exploitation of IP to third parties
  • Participates in Program Review Groups
  • Board membership

Joe McDermid

Director, Steel Research Centre

McMaster University
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, ON, L8S 4L7, Canada
Tel: (905) 525-9140 ext. 27476
Fax: (905) 526-8404

John Thomson

Operations Manager, Steel Research Centre

McMaster University
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, ON, L8S 4L7, Canada
Tel: (905) 525-9140 ext. 24955
Fax: (905) 526-8404