Latrobe Specialty Steel’s VIM-VAR expansion project won the Association for Iron & Steel Technology's (AIST) award for 2009 Project Excellence. Latrobe Specialty Steel and its partners, Continental Design and Management Group and Consarc, used a modified design-and-build technique to construct the world's largest vacuum induction melting furnace in record time. According to Latrobe Specialty Steel, the project targeted the growing demand for premium vacuum-melted steel for the essential aerospace and defense markets.

AIST's Project and Construction Management Technology Committee selected the Latrobe project by unanimous vote after evaluating competing projects from Allegheny Technology's Allegheny Ludlum plate manufacturing plant and U.S. Steel's coal grinding facility. The association will present the award to Latrobe Specialty Steel at the next AIST Pittsburgh Chapter meeting.