Faculty Directory
Gregory B. Olson

Walter P. Murphy Professor Emeritus of Materials Science and Engineering


2220 Campus Drive
Cook Hall 2036
Evanston, IL 60208-3109

Email Gregory Olson


Materials Science and Engineering


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

  • Received the Tibbetts Award (2016)
  • 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

  • Qiu, Caian; Opalka, Susanne M.; Olson, Gregory B.; Anton, Donald L., Thermodynamic modeling of the sodium alanates and the Na-Al-H system, International Journal of Materials Research (2022).
  • Pang, Edward L.; Olson, Gregory B.; Schuh, Christopher A., Low-hysteresis shape-memory ceramics designed by multimode modelling, Nature (2022).
  • Adekoya, Adetoye H.; Zhang, Yuhe; Peters, Matthew; Male, James; Chart, Yvonne; Dong, Jason; Franks, Ryan; Furlong, Alexander; Guo, Binghao Evan; Agne, Matthias T.; Olson, Gregory; Snyder, G. Jeffrey, Iterative design of a high zT thermoelectric material, Applied Physics Letters (2021).
  • Pang, Edward L.; Olson, Gregory B.; Schuh, Christopher A., The mechanism of thermal transformation hysteresis in ZrO2-CeO2 shape-memory ceramics, Acta Materialia 213 (2021).
  • Pang, Edward L.; Olson, Gregory B.; Schuh, Christopher A., Role of grain constraint on the martensitic transformation in ceria-doped zirconia, Journal of the American Ceramic Society 104(2):1156-1168 (2021).
  • Lin, Yu; Saboo, Abhinav; Frey, Ramón; Sorkin, Sam; Gong, Jiadong; Olson, Gregory B.; Li, Meng; Niu, Changning, CALPHAD Uncertainty Quantification and TDBX, JOM 73(1):116-125 (2021).
  • Nishimoto, Takashi; Okajima, Takuma; Yamashita, Kenta; Zhang, Qiaofu; Gong, Jiadong; Olson, Greg, Impact of Coarse γ′ Phase on Recrystallization Modeling in New Ni-Based Superalloy M647, Springer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH:482-490 (2020).
  • Wang, Peisheng; Hammerschmidt, Thomas; Kattner, Ursula R.; Olson, Gregory B., Structural stability of Co–V intermetallic phases and thermodynamic description of the Co–V system, Calphad: Computer Coupling of Phase Diagrams and Thermochemistry 68 (2020).