Nathan Switzner
Nathan T. Switzner, Ph.D.
Senior Associate
Materials & Corrosion Engineering
Menlo Park

Dr. Switzner’s metallurgical experience ranges from aerospace component production to refinery metallurgy. He specializes in failure analysis and investigating the links between processing, microstructure, and material performance. His focus areas are friction welding, fusion welding, casting, materials selection, forging and forming, fracture, heat treatment, corrosion, microstructural analysis and mechanical testing. Previous work has involved many alloy systems including stainless steel, carbon and alloy steel, nickel, copper, bronze, aluminum, titanium, vanadium and tantalum. Dr. Switzner engages in industrial, commercial, and domestic proactive problem solving and metallurgical failure analysis.

Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Switzner worked at Honeywell Manufacturing and Technologies, Valero Refining and ExxonMobil. At Honeywell, he led a project team that worked with outside suppliers to ensure procurement of quality forged and formed stainless steel components. He also reviewed and revised internal specifications for metals and alloys. His work with Valero included analyses of corrosion and fatigue failures in refinery reactors, vessels, and piping. At ExxonMobil, he performed physical simulation of steel welds and microstructural analysis for the Upstream Research Company. Dr. Switzner’s past work has given him experience in working with many specifications and recommendations including those published by ASTM, ASME, API, NACE, AWS, ISO, and others.

At the Colorado School of Mines, Dr. Switzner’s thesis studies included forging processes for stainless steel and solid-state joining of stainless steel to plain carbon steel for cladding applications. Phases of his Ph.D. work included mechanical property and microstructure comparisons of fusion welds and inertia friction welds as-well-as corrosion comparisons of wrought and welded stainless steels.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, 2017
  • M.S., Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, 2007
  • B.S., Metallurgical Engineering, University of Missouri, Rolla, 2004, summa cum laude
  • America Welding Society (AWS) Fellowship, 2014-2017

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

TWIC holder (expires 30 Jun 2021)

Publications

Switzner N, Querioz H,Duerst J, Yu Z. Si-bronze to 304 stainless steel GTA weld fusion zone microstructure and mechanical properties. Materials Science and Engineering: A 2018 Jan; 709:55-64. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.msea.2017.09.025

Switzner N, Yu Z, Eff M, Lienert T, Fonseca A. Microstructure and mechanical property variations within inertia friction-welded joints of stainless steel to steel. The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology 2018 Jan; pp 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00170-017-1568-3

Morgan MJ, Switzner NT, San Marchi C, Balch DK. Forging Strain Rate and Deformation Temperature Effects on the Fracture Toughness Properties of Type 304L Stainless Steel Precharged with Tritium. ASME. International Hydrogen Conference (IHC 2016): Materials Performance in Hydrogen Environments. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.861387_ch18

Switzner N. Friction Welding For Cladding Applications: Processing, Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Inertia Friction Welds of Stainless Steel to Low Carbon Steel and Evaluation of Wrought and Welded Austenitic Stainless Steels for Cladding Applications in Acid Chloride Service. Colorado School of Mines, George S. Ansell Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2017.

Switzner N, Neidt T, Hollenbeck J, Knutson J, Everhart W, Hanlin R, Balch D, San Marchi C. Hydrogen assisted fracture in forged type 304L austenitic stainless steel. International Hydrogen Conference 2012. Proceedings published by ASME Press in 2014.

Switzner NT, Van Tyne CJ, Mataya MC. Effect of forging strain rate and deformation temperature on the mechanical properties of warm-worked 304L stainless steel. Journal of Materials Processing Technology 2010. Vol 210. 8:998-1007.

Switzner NT, Van Tyne CJ, Mataya MC. Hydraulic press, mechanical press, screw press or high energy rate forging press: a comparison of 304L forging processes. Proceedings of the 27th Forging Industry Technical Conference and Energy Summit, March 27-29, 2007, Fort Worth, TX.

Presentations

Switzner N, Yu Z. Identifying Martensite at the Interface of Stainless Steel Claddings. Gulf Steel Show, Dubai, UAE. February 26-28, 2018.

Switzner N, Grollilucca J, Yu Z. Corrosion comparison of wrought and welded austenitic stainless steels for cladding. AWS Fabtech, Las Vegas, NV, 2016.

Switzner N, Yu Z, Eff M, Fonseca A, Liu S, Lienert T. Friction welding for cladding applications. Rocky Mountain Welding Symposium. Denver, CO, 2016.

Switzner N, Yu Z, Liu S. Martensitic interface produced in steel to stainless steel joints made by fusion and friction welding. Poster presentation, GRADS, Golden, CO, 2016.

Switzner N, Yu Z, Eff M, Fonseca A, Liu S, Lienert T. Inertia friction welding of 304L stainless steel to 1018 steel. Phase Transformations Symposium of TMS. Nashville, TN, 2016.

Switzner N, Yu Z, Liu S. Martensite formation in dissimilar steel fusion and friction welding. Poster presentation, TMS, Nashville, TN, 2016.

Switzner N, Yu Z, Eff M, Liu S, Lienert T. Friction and fusion dissimilar welding of stainless steel to 1018 steel. Poster presentation, AWS Fabtech, Chicago, Ill, 2015.

Switzner N, Yu Z, Liu S, Workman T, Quieroz H, Deurst J. GTA welding of Si-bronze with stainless steel. Advances in Arc Welding Processes Symposium of AWS Fabtech. Atlanta, GA, 2014.

Switzner N. Simulation improves forgings. Presented to the National Nuclear Security Administration and Department of Energy Program Managers, Washington DC, 2013.

Switzner N, Bergen R, McQueen J, Knutson J. Effect of forging strain and temperature on microstructure and mechanical properties of 304L stainless steel. Poster presentation, TMS, San Diego, CA, 2011.

Switzner N, Bergen R, McQueen J, Knutson J. Effects of temperature, deformation strain, and slow transfer on the microstructure and mechanical properties of 304L stainless steel forgings. TMS, Seattle, WA, 2010.

Switzner N, Mataya M, Van Tyne C. Effect of strain rate in the warm forging of 304L stainless steel. Poster presentation, MS&T, Detroit, MI, 2007.

Switzner NT, Van Tyne CJ, Mataya MC. HERF, mechanical press, screw press or hydraulic press – which is best? – a comparison of 304L forging processes. 27th Forging Industry Technical Conference and Energy Summit. Fort Worth, TX, 2007.

Commencement Address

Commencement Address, Colorado School of Mines Commencement, 2017.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwHZWqaYeZo (at 16 minutes into the recording) 

Prior Experience

Refinery Metallurgical Engineering Co-op, Valero Refining, August–December 2016

Metallurgical Engineering Intern, ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company, May–August 2015

Senior Metallurgical Engineer, Honeywell FM&T, 2004–2014

Professional Affiliations

American Welding Society (AWS)

National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE)

American Society of Materials (ASM) International

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, 2017
  • M.S., Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, 2007
  • B.S., Metallurgical Engineering, University of Missouri, Rolla, 2004, summa cum laude
  • America Welding Society (AWS) Fellowship, 2014-2017

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

TWIC holder (expires 30 Jun 2021)