Wednesday, 9 May 2012

The Refractories Engineer

Archived editions of the Refractories Engineer  (The Official Journal of the IRE) from 2006 can now be found at the following link

This will be incorporated into the new website when complete.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Presidents Column May 2012

Dear Members,

I have to start my column this month with a notice that the website for a time will be blank screen accompanied with the message “under construction” with a link to the “old” website. Please be assured that this is only a short term issue as the new site is created and that the e-directory will not be affected.

The format of the new website has been circulated to all General Council members following March’s meeting. Many new potential features have been considered, however some are either too costly for their relative effectiveness ( an “app”) or may not reach the membership in a useful manner (Facebook alerts).

A member forum through which topics can be discussed was well received by the Council, albeit there were concerns about who would have access and how it would be administrated, these will be resolved.

In addition the use of a blog format for news items should encourage more interaction with the site as there would be multiple access, for example all branch secretaries and it is easy to update a blog as it is essentially e-mail format.

Although we have an Institute website, it is fundamentally a member website and therefore please advise me of anything that you feel would be worthy for inclusion. I cannot promise that all these ideas will make it onto the site, however I will ensure that all ideas are presented to the General Council for consideration (

For example; are there other sites that we should link to, or perhaps could we consider membership renewal via the website etc?

On consideration of electronic communication, I would like to make a plea for all members to supply their e-mail addresses to Jayne (if you haven’t done so before).  I appreciate that some members want to keep their e-mail confidential and naturally we respect this, however if you want to keep up to date with Institute activities then e-mail is an excellent way to reach you (please note that your e-mail address will be kept confidential through the use of the “blind” carbon copy function).

The Annual Meeting “ Refractories; Converting Minerals to Economic Wealth “ to be held on the 26th of September and the training day on the 27th looking at “Refractory Properties” are taking shape. We should have full details in the July Journal, however please put the dates in your diary as I’m sure you’ll find both events extremely interesting.

At this time of year (in the UK) the branch programmes are reaching a conclusion, in regard to the Sheffield branch we have completed the AGM and now look forward to the Golf Day on the 27th of June.

Shortly after this, the programme for next year will be created and I would like to encourage that all branches start to consider their lectures and events, ideally I would like include the various programmes in the September edition of the Journal.

In regard to the overseas branches, once again please advertise your programme through the Journal and if you have any news items then we are keen to print these as well.

It would be amiss of me not to acknowledge the relighting of the blast furnace at SSI Teesside in April; my best wishes to all those involved in this momentous event and naturally all the refractories engineers who have made it work.

Chris Windle


Friday, 4 May 2012

The IRE Forum

The IRE forum is now live and can be accessed via the following link or via the IRE’s web page.

Please note that with the exception of one sub forum all areas of the forum require registration and are not accessible to the general public.

As a generalisation forums are usually slow to gain momentum when member numbers are low, so please register, introduce yourself, make a post or two and keep checking back.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

IRE Website

As hinted at in the January 2012 President’s Column there is some planned changes to “encourage the exchange of information and ideas amongst the members”. The new website is under construction and the President is currently canvasing members for ideas.

A member’s forum and this News Blog are to be included to allow members to keep up to date with the latest news and developments and to be able to refer to previous news items.

The old website will still be available until the new website is completed.