What does it mean to be a pioneer? This is the question that this issue of Metals Magazine is designed to answer. Let me start off by telling you a personal story. A few years back, I made the decision to climb the Matterhorn, one of the most iconic mountains in the European Alps. I am a Swiss citizen, and you might therefore think that it was basically "in my genes" and that I needed no major preparation to tackle the ascent. But the opposite was true. Not only does the Matterhorn require you to endure a 9-hour climbing day, the route to the top is also complex enough to make you thoroughly dependent on a knowledgeable guide. You should be well-versed in walking through rock and snow, and you must be able to control any fear of heights you might have. Bringing along the right equipment is also crucial, so as to prepare you for any eventualities. When my guide and I finally reached the pointed peak, the feeling was overwhelming. But it was also a humbling experience. I thought of the climbers who had conquered the mountain before me—particularly those who had to find the first safe route; those who carved paths into rock formations; those who put in ropes and safety hooks to protect their followers. I was in awe of what those early pioneers on the Matterhorn had achieved.
The ambition to pioneer new solutions for the metals industry is at the core of what Primetals Technologies stands for. With this issue of Metals Magazine, we aim to convey our passion for innovation by illustrating some of our greatest technological accomplishments—and by introducing you to the people instrumental in creating them. To complement these portraits, the Metals Magazine team has developed several new story formats around the idea of pioneering. Bringing these new formats to life has been a challenge—a bit like climbing a mountain. Now that we've reached the top, all I can say is that I hope you will find this issue compelling.
Dr. Tom Widter
Editor-in-Chief of Metals Magazine