Steve W. Thompson

Associate Professor

Education: B.S., Ph.D. The Pennsylvania State University

Phone: (303) 273-3065

Fax: (303) 273-3016


Mailing Address:
Steven W. Thompson
George S. Ansell Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering
Colorado School of Mines
Golden, CO 80401

Research Area

  • Phase transformations and mechanisms of microstructual change
  • Electron microscopy
  • Structure-property relationships

Technical Focus

I am a materials scientist and engineer, and my primary tool is the scanning-transmission electron microscope (STEM). In addition, my research group uses other techniques to investigate the structures, properties, and processing of materials and to design the microstructures of materials.

We are attempting to clarify austenite decomposition mechanisms in ultra-low-carbon bainitic steels by combining STEM work with studies of isothermal and continuous-cooling transformation behaviour using specialized furnaces and a Gleeble thermomechanical test system. Our work is of interest to the ship-building and oil exploration industries.

Another exciting topic of study is strengthening mechanisms in direct-quenched plate steels. In our state-of-the-art research we are probing why direct-quenched steels are stronger that the conventionally processed steels which are produced today.

Other ongoing programs concern phase transformation phenomena in high-purity aluminum alloys, the effects of substrate chemistry on microstructural evolution in zinc-coated sheet steels, the evolution of microstructure during simulated ingot breakdown of nickel-base superalloys, and the effects of microalloying elements on the structures and properties of low-alloy steels.