Our Approach

The Center for Advanced Non-Ferrous Structural Alloys (CANFSA) is coordinating the faculty expertise at the Colorado School of Mines and the Iowa State University to address the physical metallurgy of non-ferrous alloys (i.e., alloying and processing effects on microstructure, properties and performance) with an emphasis on the needs of the industries that develop, manufacture and use these alloys.

Our Story

The motivation for a center of this type stems from a historical decline in funding for physical metallurgy research, and the consequent and significant negative impact on these industries due to the fact that:

1) There are only a few universities that educate students in the relevant areas of physical metallurgy of non-ferrous alloys and

2) There are significantly fewer academic research projects that are focused on non-ferrous alloy R&D. These trends have greatly reduced the synergies that existed previously between faculty, students, and the relevant industries; this, in turn, has weakened the dominance of US industries that rely heavily on these materials.

CANFSA will conduct critical basic and applied physical metallurgy research of direct relevance to the industries that develop, manufacture and use advanced non-ferrous structural alloys. The focus of the proposed center will be on research projects that are relevant to its industrial constituents as well as intellectually and scientifically challenging and stimulating to the research teams involved. This will insure that the undergraduate and graduate students will have the opportunity to work on interesting, state-of-the-art projects of considerable interest and relevance to the member industries. In addition, the opportunity to be mentored by both experimental and modeling experts, while interacting with industrial sponsors will ensure that the students receive the sort of education that is becoming increasingly desirable to manufacturing industries where modeling tools are increasingly used in conjunction with processing to design, manufacture and/or use non-ferrous alloys.

Meet the Team


Michael Kaufman

Center Director

Colorado School of Mines

Structure-property-processing relationships in structural alloys and composites, solid-solid and liquid-solid phase transformations, electron microscopy.


Pete Collins

Center Co-Director

Iowa State Univeersity

Application of state-of-the-art characterization approaches and coupled critical modeling to develop and apply modern principles of physical metallurgy to complex, multiphase structural engineering alloys, including Ti, Al, Mg and Ni-based alloys.


Amy Clarke

Site Director

Colorado School of Mines

Making, measuring, and modeling metallic alloys during processing, including x-ray, proton, and electron imaging of multi-scale solidification dynamics at national user facilities, the study of phase transformations and microstructural evolution, shape memory alloys, and non-ferrous and ferrous physical metallurgy.


Ralph Napolitano

Site Director

Iowa State University

Dynamic processes of morphological evolution during solid-liquid phase transformations in metallic alloys and to use this fundamental knowledge to control of interfaces and structural hierarchy in solidification microstructures, discover new pathways to nonequilibrium materials with novel structures and unusual properties, predict microstructural features and defects in metal castings, create new solidification processes and alloys, reveal new applications for solidification processing, and facilitate new predictive tools, techniques, and simulation-based guidelines for casting design.


Steve Midson

Managing Director

Colorado School of Mines