Engineering Professor to Receive UA’s Blackmon-Moody Award

  • October 20th, 2014
Dr. Gregory Thompson's research emphasis is in the thermodynamics and mechanisms of phase transformations and their effect on microstructure.
Dr. Gregory Thompson’s research emphasis is in the thermodynamics and mechanisms of phase transformations and their effect on microstructure.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Dr. Gregory B. Thompson, professor of metallurgical and materials engineering at The University of Alabama, will receive the 2014 Blackmon-Moody Outstanding Professor Award at an Oct. 24 ceremony.

Since coming to the University in 2003, Thompson has received external funding from organizations such as the National Science Foundation, NASA, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Office of Naval Research and the Army Research Office. These awards have totaled several millions of dollars in the support of basic and applied research in materials development.

Thompson serves as director of the Materials Science doctoral program on campus, associate director of the University’s Central Analytical Facility and director of the Materials Metrology Research Consortium.

Thompson’s research emphasis is in the thermodynamics and mechanisms of phase transformations and their effect on microstructure. In recent years, his research group has studied different classes of transition metal ceramics and the levels of ductility they achieve at elevated temperatures.

His research uses a variety of state-of-the-art analytical microscopes that characterize materials from the atomic to micron-length scales. He has written more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and three book chapters in his research areas of analytical microscopy and phase transformations.

Thompson has been involved in multiple outreach and service activities. In 2013 and 2014, he was a co-organizer for an ASM Materials Camp on campus, a program aimed at teaching middle- and high-school teachers how to incorporate materials engineering into secondary education classrooms.

In 2004, he co-founded the Nanoscience and Engineering High School Internship Program, a 10-week summer program in which high-school students work with UA faculty on topics like magnetic nanoparticles, sensor technology and catalysis.

In 2012, Thompson served as organizing chair for the 53rd International Field Emission Symposium that brought more than 170 scientists from 15 countries to the campus for a week-long conference on atom probe and high field nanosciences.

In 2013, Thompson was named a Crimson Tide Hometown Hero for his involvement in relief efforts following the tornado that struck Tuscaloosa April 27, 2011. Additionally, he was been recognized multiple times by the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society, having been honored as  a Young Leader in 2005 and a Young Leader International Scholar in 2008.

Earning his bachelor’s degree in physics from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, in 1996, he obtained both his master’s degree and his doctorate in materials science and engineering from the Ohio State University in 1998 and 2003, respectively.

The Frederick Moody Blackmon and Sarah McCorkle Moody Outstanding Professor Award is presented annually to a UA faculty member judged to have made extraordinary research contributions that reflect credit on the individual, his or her field of study and on the University. It was created by Frederick Moody Blackmon of Montgomery to honor the memory of his grandmother, Sarah McCorkle Moody of Tuscaloosa.


Adam Jones, engineering public relations, 205/348-6444,; Judah Martin, engineering student writer,

The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.