ArcelorMittal USA is a well-known leader in producing safe, sustainable steel –and the company is also known as a group full of innovators researching and developing new ways to deploy that steel and make a difference in the lives of people all around the world. This month, the Society of Innovators at Purdue Northwest honored that spirit of innovation when they inducted Rich Clausius, projects manager for ArcelorMittal Global R&D, into the society at their 2020 Innovators Awards.
Clausius was honored for his work in developing a MASH Test Level -5 Safety Barrier, a new kind of steel median barrier that serves as a safer, more economical alternative to traditional concrete barriers; and is capable of containing a fully loaded 40 ton tractor trailer truck . Developed in partnership with Michael Gremling, Unit Manager at the CRM Group, and Rick Mauer, Special Project Manager at Gregory Industries, the barrier is already on its way to being deployed approved, and potentially used on highways in 32 states, five provinces, and Australia.
“Being recognized by the Society of Innovators is such a great honor and achievement,” Clausius said. “It’s an acknowledgment that this is a contribution to society, and something new and innovative. It’s a great feeling to know you’ve done something better than it’s been done before.”
One of the Society’s criteria for being selected is that the innovator’s project must be of measurable benefit to society while finding a new way to do it. This is something that is an everyday goal for Clausius.
“The great thing about this job is that we’re not just handing a customer a coil of steel and saying, ‘have a good day,’” Clausius said. “We’re finding new ways to use steel that is good for our customers, good for ArcelorMittal, and good for the economy and society. The barrier is something you could see used on I-80/94 tomorrow. So, to see this barrier built, crash-tested, and approved, and knowing it’s safer and more affordable, is something special.”
Jason Williams, managing director of the Society of Innovators, noted that while the Innovators Awards recognize individual and team achievement, they also have a broader purpose.
“There’s a lot of innovation, a lot of creativity that is still happening right in our backyard,” Williams said. “This is our opportunity to shine a spotlight on all of that creativity and leadership. This is still a place where people are innovating and showing leadership in so many different fields. We want to help spread these honoree’s stories.”
For his part, Clausius does not plan to slow down – and continues working on new projects every day.
“Innovation is so important,” Clausius said. “You can sit at a desk and do the same thing every day, but it’s such a benefit to try something different. You need to be allowed to succeed, but also to sometimes fail and learn from that. It is not about what we did, it is about what can we do. That’s what keeps industries from getting old.”
To learn more about ArcelorMittal USA, visit https://usa.arcelormittal.com/.