The present contribution highlights the approach to multi-scale steel design used at the Graduate Institute of Ferrous Technology (GIFT). Multi-scale modeling combining ab-initio methods, molecular dynamics, crystal plasticity modeling etc. enables GIFT researchers to gain a better fundamental understanding of phase and lattice stability, magnetic properties and basic mechanical constants. In addition, these methods allow for the reliable determination of critical material parameters. The opportunities for the development of new steel grade is thereby greatly enhanced and, when these new materials-oriented methods are combined with the more traditional engineering modeling methods, the challenges related to the large scale production of new steel grades can also be addressed.