John H. Scheel

For his outstanding initiative, leadership, and accomplishments in engineering and management, the Schools of Engineering are proud to present, for the Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Award, John H. Scheel.

General Manager, Manufacturing
Armco Steel Company, L.P.
BS '75, MS '76
Metallurgical Engineering

Mr. Scheel's interest in steel making began at Purdue, where both his senior project and master's thesis dealt with key technical challenges in this industry. After completing his master's degree, Mr. Scheel joined the raw materials and iron making section of Armco's research and development laboratory. He moved from the research group to the company's Ashland, Kentucky, works in 1982, and has held a number of successive positions there including senior blast furnace engineer and area manager, Steel Production and Processing. He has been general manager, Manufacturing, since February of 1991. Throughout his career, Mr. Scheel has developed or improved numerous steel making technologies that have led to the revitalization of this critical industry, including, for example, the pulverized coal injection system, a patented technique for controlling and distributing coal in a blast furnace to improve operational efficiency and reduce environmental impact.

  • Says Mr. Scheel, "People envision Purdue as this great big institution, and they may think it's impersonal because of its size. It is a big school, that's true, but I recall a lot of close personal contact between the students and the professors."

  • "I've always felt that half of your college education comes from inside the classroom and half from outside it. Purdue has a lot to offer outside the classroom because it is such a large and diverse place. I was fortunate that I was able to interact with many people in the college community."

His advice for the freshman engineering student:

"There's so much opportunity for the engineer who knows the nuts and bolts of the field, and who has an appreciation for how engineering fits into society. Try to broaden yourself as much as possible to understand the context of your engineering career."