Steven Thorpe


Steven Thorpe


CIM Distinguished Lecturers

Steven J. Thorpe obtained his PhD degree from the Faculty of Applied Science, University of Toronto, in 1985 and was a NATO Science Fellow at MIT from 1985 to 1987.  He returned to the University of Toronto as a NSERC University Research Fellow and was promoted to Professor in 1998. Professor S.J. Thorpe spent a two-year leave of absence at Stuart Energy Systems where he served as Vice President, Technology.  

Professor Thorpe has also served as secretary, education chairman, and vice chair of the Ontario chapter of ASM; executive and director of the Basic Sciences Division of CIM and the Corrosion Section of the Metallurgical Society of CIM, and academic leader of the Metals and Ceramics Program of the Ontario Center for Materials Research (OCMR).  

Professor Thorpe has won numerous awards including the Impact Student Choice Award, Sustained Excellence in Teaching Award, Faculty Teaching Award, Academics in Industry Award from OCMR, the Outstanding Young Members Award from the Ontario Chapter of ASM, and the W.S. Wilson Metal and Centennial Thesis Award.  

Dr. Thorpe’s current research is focused on the electrochemical behaviour of new amorphous and nanocrystalline materials in the fields of electrolysis and fuel cells and has co-authored more than 70 refereed publications.  He has served as supervisor or co-supervisor for more than 80 graduate and undergraduate student theses.

Distinguished Lecturer 2022-23

Decarbonization through Hydrogen Production via Electrolysis

Lecture Abstract


Hydrogen is increasingly emerging as a clean energy carrier when produced using water electrolysis linked to a renewable energy source (hydro, solar, wind). The hydrogen economy is an energy generation, delivery, and utilization system in which hydrogen gas (H2(g)) is the energy carrier. If realized, the hydrogen economy would supplement and/or replace the hydrocarbon economy, which relies on petroleum, natural gas, and coal. Any new energy currency must be able to compete in a variety of important sectors, transportation, power, and materials processing through the adaptation and innovation of new technologies in areas such as steelmaking, and Cu and Ni processing. The transition to the hydrogen economy would diminish the global societal dependence on non-renewable energy sources and dramatically reduce the production of green-house gases. Three recent reports by the Hydrogen Industry Council predict a strong increased global demand for hydrogen and decreased costs for “green” hydrogen.

Canada has a tradition as a major international player in the fields of electrolysis and fuel cell research and has much to gain from advancing the boundaries of this technology. This talk will focus on recent advances in water splitting technologies, cell and systems design, and material advances that will permit large scale, economical, production of green hydrogen to benefit the Canadian electrochemical industry and the globe.

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