Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Materials

Visiting Professor



+44 (0)20 7594 6759k.mills




Royal School of MinesSouth Kensington Campus





Ken Mills is a Visiting Professor in the Department of Materials.  His current research interests are:

  • Providing recommended values for the physical properties of metals (book).
  • Estimating the following properties of slags from their chemical composition (viscosity, electrical conductivity, diffusion coefficient, thermal conductivity density and thermal expansion coefficient, surface tension and heat capacity and enthalpy)
  • Estimating the properties of commercial alloys
  • Sorting out the true thermal conductivities of slags, glasses and magmas at high temperatures
  • Writing a book on how mould fluxes work and their effect on process control and steel quality.

Biography:  Ken Mills graduated in chemistry from the University of Newcastle in 1956 and was awarded a PhD by Sheffield University for work on carbides in steels and their effect on creep strength.  He continued his research in the USA, at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, working on the thermodynamics of alloys at high temperature.  There then followed a short period at the US Steel, Edgar Bain Research Laboratories working with E.T. Turkdogan.

On returning to the UK in 1963, Ken joined the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in Teddington, where he developed novel measurement methods for thermodynamic properties at high temperatures.  In 1974 he became head of a group working on the measurement of physico-chemical properties of materials related to heat and fluid flow in high-temperature processes. His research was carried out on metals and alloys, slags and refractories. In addition to his experimental work he carried out major reviews on the properties of these materials; he was a major contributor to the Slag Atlas.

He has had great interest in the mechanisms underlying processing problems in high- temperature processes, such as variable weld penetration in GTA/TIG welding and mould flux behaviour in the continuous casting of steel; he has given courses in more than 10 countries on mould fluxes and their impact on the continuous casting process.

In 1994, Ken joined Imperial College as a Professor and lectured on metal production and heat and mass transfer.  His research at Imperial College has been principally focused on mould fluxes for continuous casting and slags used in other steelmaking processes and on thermo-physical properties of alloys and slags. He has revived his interest in the estimation of the properties of slags and alloys from their chemical compositions. He has given courses on the estimation of slag properties in South Africa and at the TMS Conference 2012 in Florida.

Ken has published three books, more than 200 journal papers and has contributed chapters to several books.  Details can be found at the Publications tab above or on Google Scholar



Mills KC, Ramirez-Lopez PE, Lee PD, 2012, Some Insights into Mechanisms Involved in Continuous Casting, High Temperature Materials and Processes, Vol:31, ISSN:0334-6455, Pages:221-229

Lee PD, Ramirez-Lopez PE, Mills KC, et al., 2012, Review: The "butterfly effect" in continuous casting, Ironmaking & Steelmaking, Vol:39, ISSN:0301-9233, Pages:244-253

Lopez PER, Mills KC, Lee PD, et al., 2012, A Unified Mechanism for the Formation of Oscillation Marks, Metallurgical and Materials Transactions B-process Metallurgy and Materials Processing Science, Vol:43, ISSN:1073-5615, Pages:109-122

Zhang G-H, Chou K-C, Xue Q-G, et al., 2012, Modeling Viscosities of CaO-MgO-FeO-MnO-SiO2 Molten Slags, Metallurgical and Materials Transactions B-process Metallurgy and Materials Processing Science, Vol:43, ISSN:1073-5615, Pages:64-72

Mills KC, Yuan L, Li Z, et al., 2012, Review of the Factors Affecting the Thermophysical Properties of Silicate Slags, High Temperature Materials and Processes, Vol:31, ISSN:0334-6455, Pages:301-321

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