Steel Founders' Society of America grants $7,800 in scholarship awards

  • Ben Abbott, a judge on the History Channel's program "Forged in Fire," provides commentary on one of the projects submitted to the Cast in Steel Competition.

    Ben Abbott, a judge on the History Channel's program "Forged in Fire," provides commentary on one of the projects submitted to the Cast in Steel Competition. Courtesy of Richard MacDonald, New Media Systems

Submitted by Kimberley Schumacher
Updated 8/6/2020 2:52 PM

Steel Founders' Society of America, an industry trade association in Crystal Lake, Illinois, is excited to announce awards for the second annual Cast in Steel Competition.

The competition, hosted by Steel Founders' Society Foundation and run by SFSA, was established to expose engineering students to careers in the steel industry.


Student teams, sponsored by a university professor and partnered with an industry foundry, design and build implements to spec using modern casting practices. This year, student teams produced a Bowie Knife.

Performance testing was carried out by Ben Abbott, 2-time winner and judge on the popular History Channel program "Forged in Fire" on July 17 in Richmond, Virginia. The trials were recorded on video and later shared with the Steel Industry by way of an online premier.

Awards for Best Performance went to Virginia Polytechnic Institute; Best Technical Report to Texas A & M University; and Best Video to University of South Alabama. Each student working on these teams received $500.

"Ben's Best" are projects recognized for special attributes and creativity including: Most Period Correct Handle -- Mississippi, Team 2; Most Ambitious Casting & Intricate Design -- Missouri State University; Unique Design -- Instituto Tecnologico de Morelia, Mexico; Best Cast Guard & Pommel -- Pittsburg State University -- Fist Pommel; and Most Surprising Knife Cast -- Penn State University. Students working on these teams received $50.

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Total scholarships for the 2020 competition totaled $7,800.

Teams, knives, project videos, and technical reports are available on the competition's website,

Industry partner Magma Foundry Technologies assisted in sponsoring the event.

Since 1902, the Steel Founders' Society of America (SFSA) has represented the interests of steel foundries in the United States and abroad. Members benefit from SFSA's experience in steel technology development programs, market development, representing the industry globally in regulatory and specification development, and providing timely business information and state-of-the-art training. More information is available at

The Steel Founders' Society Foundation is a 501(c) 3 educational and scientific foundation, established to secure a successful future for the steel castings industry by encouraging students to work in the industry. The Foundation was established in 2000 with a generous donation from a great visionary in our industry, Robert M. Schumo. The Foundation grows through the generosity of donors who care about the future of the steel casting industry. More information is available at

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