Core Faculty

Gregory B. Olson

Gregory B. Olson

Walter P. Murphy Professor of Materials Science and Engineering

2220 Campus Drive

Cook Hall 2036

Evanston, IL 60208-3109

g-olson( at )


Sc.D. MIT, Cambridge, MA

M.S. MIT, Cambridge, MA

B.S. MIT, Cambridge, MA

Research Interests

We are integrating fundamental principles of processing/structure/property/performance relations within a systems engineering framework. Science-based design produces dynamic, multilevel, structured systems for new materials. Mechanistic models for both displacive martensitic and diffusional precipitation reactions are provided from theoretical and experimental study of first-order phase transformations in model alloy systems. We apply kinetics-based constitutive relations for martensitically transforming materials to numerical modeling of shape memory behaviors and transformation toughening mechanisms in ductile solids. These incorporate interactions with microvoid nucleation processes and plastic flow localization.

Our interdisciplinary collaborations include quantum-mechanical investigations of the chemical basis of intergranular fracture resistance. We integrate principles into materials system designs through computational thermodynamics and numerical kinetic modeling. Prototype high-performance alloy steels have demonstrated record property combinations, and the design methodology is now being extended to intermetallic composites, ceramics, and polymers, including biomimetic design concepts.

Significant Recognition

  • Foreign Associate, Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Science (2013)
  • TMS Morris Cohen Award (2013)
  • Member, AAAS (2012)
  • Fellow, TMS-AIME (2001)
  • Fellow, ASM (1990)
  • MS-SMD Distinguished Scientist/Engineer Award
  • Technology of the Year Award, Industry Week (1998)
  • NASA Technology Recognition Award (1994)
  • M. R. Tenenbaum Award of ISS-AIME (1993)
  • J. Wallenberg Foundation Award, Sweden (1993)
  • Featured (as Director of the multi-institutional Steel Research Group) on a PBS-TV Infinite Voyage special (1991)
  • Army Materials Special Service Award (1988)
  • NSF Research Creativity Award (1983)

Significant Professional Service

  • Co-founder, Chief Scientific Officer and Board Member, QuesTek Innovations, LLC
  • Technical Advisory Board, Constellium Corp.
  • Member, ArcelorMittal Scientific Partners Network
  • Materials Advisory Board, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) - Sweden
  • MSE Advisory Board, KAIST-Korea
  • MSE Advisory Board, Michigan Technological University
  • Board of Governors, Acta Materialia
  • Member, National Academy of Engineering (2010)
  • Advisory Board, Journal of Computer-Assisted Materials Design
  • 20th annual A. Frank Golick Lecturer, Missouri University of Science and Technology, 2009
  • Cambridge University Kelly Lectureship, 2008
  • ASM Campbell Memorial Lectureship, 2008
  • ASM Alpha Sigma Mu Lecturer, 1996
  • SERC Visiting Professor, Cambridge University, 1992

Selected Publications

  • Olson, G.B., “Integrated computational materials design: From genome to flight”, 54th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference, (2013)
  • Olson, G.B., “Genomic materials design: The ferrous frontier”, Acta Materialia, (2013)
  • Seidman, D.N.; Olson, G.B.; Wang, J.-S.; Mulholland, M.D., “Prediction of the yield strength of a secondary-hardening steel”, Acta Materialia, (2013)
  • Tang, Shan; Liu, Wing Kam; Kopacz, Adrian M.; Olson, Gregory B.; Chan O'Keeffe, Stephanie, “Concurrent multiresolution finite element: formulation and algorithmic aspects”, Computational Mechanics, (2013)
  • Olson, G.B.; Gupta, D., “Tribute to Professor D. S. Lieberman: On the importance of being invariant”, Journal of Alloys and Compounds, (2012)
  • Jones, Travis E.; Eberhart, Mark E.; Imlay, Scott; MacKey, Craig; Olson, Greg B., “Better alloys with quantum design”, Physical Review Letters, (2012)
  • S. Zhang, O. Y. Kontsevoi, A. J. Freeman and G. B. Olson, “Cohesion enhancing effect of magnesium in aluminum grain boundary: A first-principles determination”, Applied Physics Letters, (2012)
  • M. V. Manuel, A. F. McKenna and G. B. Olson, “Supporting Students' Technical Innovation in Capstone Design: Insights into the Human Connection”, International Journal of Engineering Education, (2012)

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