Melissa Thrun

PhD Candidate

Advanced Steel Processing and Products Research Center
Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering


As a doctoral candidate in metallurgical and materials engineering at Mines, I work with the Advanced Steel Processing and Products Research Center. My research primarily focuses on phase stability in third generation advanced high strength steels, specifically austenite stability. My work investigates the stability of the austenite retained through complex heat treatment routes, specifically looking at the TRIP (transformation induced plasticity) effect during straining and how changing processing conditions can change the transformation behavior from austenite to martensite. 

My research interests include:

  • Physical and Mechanical Metallurgy
  • Experimental Characterization
    • Scanning electron microscopy
    • Transmission electron microscopy
    • X-Ray Diffraction
    • Electron backscatter diffraction


  • BS in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, 2018
  • PhD in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Colorado School of Mines

Research Interests

  • Austenite Stability in Advanced High Strength Steels
    • This program is supported by NSF Award 1752530, Career: Controlling Austenite Stability and Response During Deformation of Advanced High Strength Steels, through the Division of Civil, Mechanical & Manufacturing Innovation


  • Finfrock, C. B., Thrun, M. M., Bhattacharya, D., Ballard, T. J., Clarke, A. J., & Clarke, K. D. (2021). Strain Rate Dependent Ductility and Strain Hardening in Q&P Steels. Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A, 1-15. [Link]
  • Thrun, M., Finfrock, C., Clarke, A., & Clarke, K. (2021). Effects of Unloading on Subsequent Yielding Behavior in 304 Stainless Steel. Frontiers in Materials7, 434.  [Link]


  • TMS Materials Bowl Champion – 2018, 2019, 2020
  • 2018 Rocky Mountain ASM Outstanding Student
  • 2018 Allan Kissock Award Recipient
  • 2015 Trashmasters Scholar
  • 2015 L.S. Wood Scholar
  • 2015 Lions Scholar


Hill Hall 250
1500 Illinois Street
Colorado School of Mines
Golden, CO 80401

Melissa Thrun
Hill Hall 250