Interview with Montse Haro

Interview with Montse Haro

We spoke with Montse Haro, Metallurgical Engineer at Grupo Baux and professor at the Polytechnic University of Valencia.

For almost two years, Montse Haro has been part of the Baux Group team. Now, in addition to being a Metallurgical Engineer in the Company, she is teacher in the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, teaching different subjects in the degrees of Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Technologies Engineering, Design Engineering, Biology and Master's Degree in Chemical Engineering.


What is your role within the company and what responsibility does it entail?


My role as Metallurgical Engineer within the Quality Department involves two main areas of development.

On the one hand, I develop the plant's own work, such as the study of new alloys and technical proposals, responding to the needs of new products or improving the performance of existing ones, also the characterisation of the materials obtained in our plant (checking and studying their behaviour and validating their quality level), or the definition of the parameters that influence quality, carrying out mechanical tests and defining the standards to be used.

On the other hand, I participate in the development of R+D+I research projects for the improvement of processes, final qualities and even improving the capacity to use more types of scrap existing in the market.

All of this involves important responsibilities, as the department works closely with the commercial side where doors can be opened to new customers and products, as well as the work carried out in the plant, generating flexible processes that respond and adapt to operational needs without forgetting the objective quality. 

In addition, the figure of metallurgical engineer is linked to the responsibility of knowing the R&D of the sector and this opportunity to participate as a teacher at the UPV is a reinforcement of the link I feel with innovation, development and the generation of knowledge.


What motivated you to specialise in the metallurgical sector?


Since 2008, when I started as a metallurgical engineer, I understood the importance of metals in our lives. Although I started working with titanium alloys for prosthetics, where the biggest challenge was to achieve biocompatibility with the human body as this factor can provoke an immune response in the human body. 

Aluminium is also a material that is present in all aspects of our lives. We can find it in food packaging, kitchen utensils, household appliances, even in the fabrication of our homes such as windows, blinds, ducts... This also makes it a material that arouses my interest. 

Although I had already read about Grupo Baux and its dedication, I was impressed by its scrap yard and the importance the company attaches to making its products from recycled material and contributing to sustainability. 

Being able to see the melting capacity of the furnaces with that composition control or the exit of the slab from the continuous casting makes it a company where I see my continuous growth in the knowledge of the processes of these materials.


What led you to teach at the Polytechnic University of Valencia?


I have always been closely linked to the University. Since I finished my engineering degree, I saw the importance of research into materials, as well as continuous training and dissemination on this subject. I had previously worked as a teacher in the Department of Architectural Constructions and now the opportunity has arisen again in the Department of Mechanics and Materials as an associate lecturer. This figure is key to the training of new engineers as it brings industry closer to training, giving a more entrepreneurial approach to careers and making them more involved in the work they are going to do once they finish their studies.


What is the biggest challenge you have faced so far? 


Being able to combine my work life with my family life, being a mother, means that I have to keep a very strict organisation and it is one of the biggest challenges I have faced. However, this challenge is also very motivating for me, because being linked to continuous learning and being able to participate in a sector where retraining is supported is for me a goal for the future.


How do you see yourself in a few years' time?


I would like to be able to continue improving my training in this company, with all the challenges it presents me with and also to be able to pass on this knowledge to future engineers, bringing this sector closer to training and the importance that recycling has in our lives.


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