The Nov/Dec issue of Steel Times International will be my last as Editor as I retire in November.

In 1988, 617Mt of steel were produced; today annual production is on track to reach 1.58bnt this year – an increase of 156% or a growth rate of 6.24% a year.

I joined the editorial team in 1988 as Technical Editor when we published two steel journals, Steel Times aimed primarily at the European steel industry a title which saw its origins as far back as 1866 as The iron & Coal Trades Review, and Steel Times International which commenced publishing in 1987 to meet the needs of the readership in an increasingly global steel industry. In 2001 we merged the two publications as it became evident that, although European steel output remained a significant force, the volume of production had moved away from its industrial birthplace in Europe and many European steel companies had interests outside of the region, some setting up steel plants abroad, others seeking markets or importantly to see what their competitors were doing.

My background is as a metallurgist and I had worked in the steel industry – as well as in non-ferrous metallurgy – so it was with delight that after a seven year period working in the copper fields of Zambia that I was able to take up the post of Technical Editor of the two publications in 1988. Soon, I took sole responsibility of Steel Times as Editor and later also of Steel Times International. Indeed, I even had a spell of six years editing our aluminium publication as well as steel which gave me an interesting insight into the two premier engineering materials – in competition in many fields but having to respond to common production constraints such as energy costs, environmental issues and of course the growing realisation that the threat from CO2 emissions was here to stay and had to be addressed.

It is therefore with a heavy heart that I now retire from editing Steel Times International after an association of 25 years and hand over to my successor, Matthew Moggridge who is currently editor of Aluminium International Today. Matthew, having spent most of his working life in publishing, has already proved himself in the aluminium industry and I have no doubt will rapidly acquire a deep knowledge of the steel industry. Matthew assures me he plans to keep many of the regular features in the issue going such as the regional Updates and the History page and indeed I will remain as a consultant editor for the foreseeable future.

With thanks to all those readers who have supported our steel publications in the past.

Tim Smith
Retiring Editor, Steel Times International