Dr. Benz specializes in physical metallurgy, microstructural development, material characterization, and microstructure property relationships in both nonferrous and ferrous metal alloys. He received his Ph.D. in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering from Colorado School of Mines (CSM), his M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his Bachelor of Science in Materials Science and Engineering from Northwestern University. He has extensive experience in a variety of characterization techniques, including metallography, optical microscopy (OM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), focused ion beam (FIB) technique, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and 3D atom probe (3DAP). Furthermore, Dr. Benz has experience in a variety of mechanical testing techniques and testing alloys at high temperatures for energy-related applications, including creep and fatigue testing, crack growth testing in air and under controlled environments, and thermomechanical processing simulations of alloys.
Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Benz conducted his Ph.D. work at CSM in the Advanced Steels Processing and Products Research Center (ASPPRC). His dissertation focused on the microstructural evolution of bainitic low-carbon steels for line pipe applications with small additions of microalloying elements (e.g., vanadium, niobium, and titanium). To investigate the effects of microalloying elements during processing, he performed a variety of experiments varying heat treatment schedules as well as simulated processing conditions on a Gleeble thermomechanical simulator. Detailed microstructural characterization was conducted using OM, SEM, TEM, and 3DAP, and advanced cross correlative techniques were utilized to analyze the size and chemistry of nanoscale phases within the microstructure. Microstructural evolution was also modeled in Thermo-Calc using both equilibrium and diffusional simulations, and differences were determined when comparing with experimental data. Changes in material strength were ultimately correlated to microstructural features including precipitation and dislocation recovery. During his time at CSM, Dr. Benz also contributed to characterization efforts of steels in a number of other Ph.D. projects and also helped developed detailed methods to image microstructural constituents on the order of one to two nanometers.
Dr. Benz also held a research staff position at Idaho National Laboratory for almost five years. His efforts focused on characterization of the mechanical and microstructural properties of nickel-based superalloys and pressure vessel steels for high-temperature applications, including nuclear and other energy-related applications. Motivation for the work was on both fundamental research and DOE-related interests in updates to the ASME boiler and pressure vessel codes. He utilized and upgraded existing creep and fatigue testing frames to determine the high-temperature material properties of a number of nickel-based alloys. Furthermore, Dr. Benz led a team in the development of two instrumented crack growth testing systems, one system capable of high-temperature testing in air only and the other with high-temperature, controlled-atmosphere capability. This work included procurement of all instrumentation, installation, development of all software/hardware controls and data acquisition systems, validation of the entire system, and utilization of completed systems for experimental needs. Finally, Dr. Benz built a custom mechanical load frame and helped develop the software for the system in order to conduct specific high-temperature experiments not achievable with commercially available systems.
CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS
- Ph.D., Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, 2019
- M.S., Materials Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 2009
- B.S., Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University, 2005
Benz J. The Effect of Vanadium and Other Microalloying Elements on the Microstructure and Properties of Bainitic HSLA Steels. Ph.D. Dissertation, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO, 2019.
Klemm-Toole J, Benz J, Thompson S, Findley K. A quantitative evaluation of microalloy precipitation strengthening in martensite and bainite. Materials Science and Engineering A 2019; 763.
Benz J, Thompson S. Effect of Vanadium on the Hardening of Low-Carbon Microalloyed Steels During an Experimental Time-Temperature Study. Proceeding of the 2nd International Symposium on the Recent Developments in Plate Steels, Orlando, FL, 2018.
Benz J, Thompson S. The Effect of Vanadium and Other Microalloying Elements on the Microstructure of Bainitic HSLA Steels. Contributed papers from Materials Science & Technology Conference, Pittsburgh, PA, 2017.
Benz J, Carroll L, Wright J, Wright R, Lillo T. Threshold stress creep behavior of alloy 617 at intermediate temperatures. Metallurgical and Materials Transaction A 2014; 45: 3010–3022.
Benz J, Wright R. Fatigue and Creep Crack Propagation Behavior of Alloy 617 in the Annealed and Aged Conditions. Proceedings of the 3rd International Workshop on Structural Materials for Innovative Nuclear Systems, Idaho Falls, ID, 2013.
Wright J, Carroll L, Cabet C, Lillo T, Benz J, Simpson J, Lloyd W, Chapman J, Wright R. Characterization of elevated temperature properties of heat exchanger and steam generator alloys. Nuclear Engineering and Design 2012; 251: 252–260.
Benz J, Kim J, Ballinger R. Effect of oxygen potential on crack growth in alloys for advanced energy systems. Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power 2010; 132.
Sun J, Benz J, Ellingson W, Kimmel J, Price J. Nondestructive evaluation of environmental barrier coatings in CFCC combustor liners. Proceedings of the 30th International Conference on Advanced Ceramics and Composites, Cocoa Beach, FL, 2006.
Benz J, Thompson S. The Effect of Vanadium and Other Microalloying Elements on the Microstructure and Properties of Bainitic HSLA-type Steels. ASPPRC Research Meeting Invited Presentation, Colorado School of Mines, September 2019.
Benz J, Thompson S. Effect of Vanadium on the Hardening of Low-Carbon Microalloyed Steels During an Experimental Time-Temperature Study. 2nd International Symposium on the Recent Developments in Plate Steels, Orlando, FL, 2018.
Benz J and Thompson S. The Effect of Vanadium and Other Microalloying Elements on the Microstructure of Bainitic HSLA Steels. Materials Science & Technology Conference, Pittsburgh, PA, 2017.
Benz J. Thermomechanical Processing of Bainitic HSLA Steels with Vanadium and Other Microalloying Additions. Gleeble Users Meeting, Golden, CO, 2017.
Benz J, Wright R. Fatigue and Creep Crack Propagation Behavior of Alloy 617 in the Annealed and Aged Conditions. 3rd International Workshop on Structural Materials for Innovative Nuclear Systems, Idaho Falls, ID, 2013.
Associate Scientist, Idaho National Laboratory, Materials Science and Engineering Department, 2010-2014
Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A