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March 8, 2012
Alcoa's Innovation Advantage Presented to Top MBA Students
Alcoa Chief Technology Officer Ray Kilmer Discusses Alcoa's 125 Years
NEW YORK--“At Alcoa, we are taking sustainability to the next level,” Alcoa
Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Dr. Raymond Kilmer
told business students at Columbia University in New York. “We are using
waste products such as bauxite residue, a byproduct of the alumina
production process, and finding beneficial uses for it like safely
cleaning waste water. When you can take this technology to places like
Saudi Arabia where water resources are limited, it’s a win-win
situation," he said.
This is one example of Alcoa (NYSE:AA) innovation
in the company's nearly 125 year history Kilmer described to top
business students who recently participated in Columbia University's
Business School's Odyssey event, a premier global MBA conference which
brings together the brightest students from the world's leading business
Besides the novel use of bauxite residue, Kilmer engaged the students by
talking about some of Alcoa’s other innovations including Eco-Clean™,
a smog-eating architectural building panel that helps clean itself and
the air around it, and the aluminum bottle.
“People don’t think about manufacturing companies being highly
technology focused. But, to make it in a global economy, we need to be.
Innovation ensures success and longevity,” Kilmer told the audience of
students, alumni and corporate partners.
"Aluminum is the miracle metal," he continued. "Its properties are
amazing: lightweight and ideal for promoting fuel efficiency in cars and
airplanes; and strong enough to withstand deep ocean drilling and space
travel. Plus, aluminum is infinitely recyclable."
Kilmer also discussed how some ground-breaking ideas come from earlier
experiences and innovations.
“One of the many advantages of a large company like Alcoa is having
exposure to technical advancements in different markets like aerospace
and automotive,” he said. “We can take our understanding from one market
and help customers in a different area apply it to their products. Or,
we work across businesses to create a multi-business solution.”
Innovation is familiar to Kilmer, who heads the Alcoa Technical Center,
near Pittsburgh. The facility is the world’s largest light metals
research and development center, and is close to the birthplace of the
modern aluminum smelting process.
Alcoa is the world’s leading producer of primary aluminum, fabricated
aluminum and alumina. In addition to inventing the modern-day aluminum
industry, Alcoa innovation has been behind major milestones in the
aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial
transportation, consumer electronics and industrial markets over the
past 120 years. Among the solutions Alcoa markets are flat-rolled
products, hard alloy extrusions, and forgings, as well as Alcoa® wheels,
fastening systems, precision and investment castings, and building
systems in addition to its expertise in other light metals such as
titanium and nickel-based super alloys. Sustainability is an integral
part of Alcoa’s operating practices and the product design and
engineering it provides to customers. Alcoa has been a member of the Dow
Jones Sustainability Index for ten consecutive years and approximately
75 percent of all of the aluminum ever produced since 1888 is still in
active use today. Alcoa employs approximately 61,000 people in 31
countries across the world. More information can be found at www.alcoa.com.