Steve Usselman is a historian who studies technology, policy, and the evolution of American industries. His research has concentrated primarily on technical infrastructure: transport systems and logistics, especially railroading; communications and computing, including the history of IBM; and industrial research and development (R&D). His writings address several policy concerns: public subsidies for innovation, health and safety regulation, antitrust and competition policy, standards-setting, natural resources and the environment, and intellectual property rights. Usselman’s Regulating Railroad Innovation: Business, Technology, and Politics in America, 1840-1920 (Cambridge, 2002) received the Hawley Prize from the OAH and the Hilton Prize in railroad history. He co-edited The Challenge of Remaining Innovative: Lessons from Twentieth-Century American Business (Stanford, 2009) and served as Senior Editor of the Oxford Encyclopedia of the History of American Science, Medicine, and Technology (2014).
Author of more than thirty scholarly articles and book chapters, Usselman has received both the Newcomen Prize and the Williamson Medal for mid-career excellence from the Business History Conference. In 2007-2008, he served as president of the Society for the History of Technology. In that capacity and through frequent collaboration with colleagues at Georgia Tech, he has worked to integrate history into engineering education. Usselman is currently revising (with Glenn Porter) The Rise of Big Business (Wiley) and is at work on a new project examining how the vertical centrifugal pump and its spin-offs figured in California industrial development