Meet the new steel: The ArcelorMittal team responsible for an advanced high-strength steel for the auto industry. Photographs by David Yellen

(Fortune Magazine) -- The ArcelorMittal Team East Chicago, Ind.

Steel is as ubiquitous in the new economy as it was emblematic of the old one. This team at ArcelorMittal (Charts), the world's biggest steel corporation, is responsible for a new, advanced, high-strength steel for the auto industry.

The key, says Richard Sussman, general manager of research and development in the US., is discipline: The company has a five-part process, from idea through launch, that is closely monitored and reviewed. Cross-functional teams, which range from scientists to plant managers to salespeople, are crucial - because unless all parts of the process work, the whole thing will flop. Communication is constant.

And as is appropriate for a steel company, there is very little tolerance for complacency: "We're already conceiving the next generation of steel," says Sussman.

NANCY HAKE Manager, internal quality, testing, and product development

RICHARD SUSSMAN General manager, R&D

RICHARD SKOLLY Staff research engineer, product R&D

CLIFF CHATMAN Division manager, hot strip mill

TOM PROGLER Manager, continuous improvement

BALA SUBBARAMAN Platform manager, product applications

HOMERO ORTIZ Staff research engineer, product research

ROGER KLOOTWYCK Operator, steel producing

HONGBIN YIN Staff research engineer, process research  Top of page