Jerry Downey, Metallurgical & Materials Engineering Faculty
Jerry Downey - Metallurgical and Materials Engineering - Montana Tech

Metallurgical & Materials Engineering

Jerry Downey

Jerome P. (Jerry) Downey, Ph.D., P.E.

Goldcorp Professor of Extractive Metallurgy
Campus Director, Materials Science Ph.D. Program

Office: 215 ELC Building
Phone: 406-496-4578
E-mail: E-mail Jerry Downey

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Downey is the Goldcorp Professor of Extractive Metallurgy at Montana Tech, where he also serves as the campus Director of the Montana University System Materials Science Ph.D. program. Dr. Downey earned his Ph.D. in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering at Colorado School of Mines and his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Metallurgical Engineering at Montana Tech. He is a registered professional engineer with active licenses in Colorado and Montana. His 40+ years of professional experience includes industrial operations, applied process research and development, and corporate management. His technical expertise includes chemical and metallurgical thermodynamics, thermal processing, materials synthesis and processing, and hazardous materials treatment.

View Jerry Downey's Full CV


High temperature process research is the cornerstone of my research program. Current and recent projects involve synthesis of carbide ceramics, vapor transport of rare earth element halogens, and the enhancement of copper and silver extraction from flotation concentrate. Other recent research focused on the study of fundamental properties of ionic melts such as slags and molten salts.

Energy and related environmental considerations provide impetus for much of my research. My approach has been to develop ways to recover recyclable commodities and/or energy in addition to destroying or stabilizing hazardous waste components. Examples include thermal processes that recover gas or liquid fuels from municipal solid waste, automobile shredder residue, tires, and various polymer wastes. I also investigate methods for recovering metal from electronic scrap, spent catalyst, geothermal brine, organometallic, and other forms of industrial waste.

I also have an active research interest in aqueous processing applications, including hydrometallurgy, corrosion, and wastewater treatment. One of my current projects relates to the development of a novel continuous flow ion exchange system for capturing metal ions from very dilute wastewater sources such as acid rock drainage.


Grant Wallace, Jerome Downey, et al, Synthesis of Nanocrystalline Carbide Ceramics via Reduction of Anion-Loaded Activated Carbon Precursors, 9th International Symposium on High-Temperature Metallurgical Processing, The Minerals, Metals, and Materials Series, TMS, 2018, pp. 125-134.

Maureen P. Chorney, Bridger P. Hurley, Prabhat K. Tripathy, and Jerome P. Downey, Effects of Oxide Precursor Preparation on the Electrochemical Reduction of Tantalum Pentoxide in Calcium Chloride Melt, The Minerals Metals and Materials Society, TMS 2017 146th Annual Meeting & Exhibition Supplemental Proceedings, 2017, pp. 651-655.

Katelyn M. Lyons, Jerome P. Downey, Jannette L. Chorney, and Katie J. Schumacher, Selective Separation of Rare Earth Chlorides utilizing Vapor Phase Extraction, Rare Metal Technology 2017, The Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society Series, TMS, 2017, pp. 55-63.

Ryan J. Foy, Steve Lloyd, Brandon Steinborn, and Jerome P. Downey, “Sulfation Roasting of a Bornite Flotation Concentrate to Optimize Silver Extraction in a Ferric Chloride Leach,” Drying, Roasting, and Calcining of Minerals, The Minerals, Metals, & Materials Society (TMS), 2015, pp. 3-10.

Daniel W. Gaede, Bryce D. Ruffier, Jerome P. Downey, Larry G. Twidwell, Jannette L. Chorney, Ryan J. Foy, and Katelyn M Lyons, “Chlorination of Rare Earth Element Oxides,” Drying, Roasting, and Calcining of Minerals, TMS, 2015 pp. 11-18.

Teresa D.H. McGrath, Jesse F. White, and Jerome P. Downey, “Experimental Determination of Density in Molten Lime Silicate Slags as a Function of Temperature and Composition,” Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy (TIMM C), Volume 123, pp. 178-183, Number 3, September 2014.

Katie J. Schumacher, Jesse F. White, and Jerome P. Downey, “Viscosities in the Calcium Silicate Slag System in the Range of 1798 to 1973K (1525 to 1700°C),” Metallurgical Transactions B, Volume 46B, Number 1, February 2015, pp. 119-124.

Tyler Salisbury, Jerome P. Downey, et al, “Free Form Fabrication of Catalytic Substrates,” Energy Technologies 2012: Materials in Clean Power Systems VII: Clean Coal, Hydrogen-Based Technologies, and Fuel Cells, TMS, 2012, pp. 323-330.

Stacy Davis, Jerome P. Downey, et al, “Improved Palladium Coatings for Hydrogen Purification Applications,” Energy 2012: Materials in Clean Power Systems VII: Clean Coal, Hydrogen-Based Technologies, and Fuel Cells, TMS, 2012, pp. 331-338.


Montana Tech Campus Director of the MUS Collaborative Materials Science Ph.D. Program (2013 – present).
Thesis advisor and committee chair for 5 Ph.D. students (all current) and 13 M.S. students (2 current; 11 completed); research committee member for 8 Ph.D. students (5 current; 3 completed) and 12 M.S. students (2 current; 10 completed).
Active member of The Metals, Minerals, and Materials Society of AIME (TMS) and member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).

Executive Editor, International Journal of Metallurgical & Materials Engineering (2015 – present).

Peer reviewer for the following journals: Ceramics International; Hydrometallurgy; JOM; Journal of Cleaner Production; Metallurgical Transactions B; Minerals Engineering, Portugaliae Electrochimica Acta.

  • Montana Tech Distinguished Researcher Award (2016)
  • Montana Tech Faculty Merit Award (2013, 2016)
  • Goldcorp Professorship (2009 – present)
  • Hazen Research Professor of Extractive Metallurgy (2014)
  • Academic Fellow, Center for Advanced Mineral Processing (2006)
  • Montana Tech Alumni Recognition Award (1996)