Our mission at the Center for Iron and Steelmaking Research (CISR) is to conduct fundamental research relevant to the production of iron and steel, and to educate students for steel and related industries.


CISR began as a coordinated effort between the steel industry, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and Carnegie Mellon University. After two years of planning, the center began operations in May 1985 as an Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) with support from eleven companies and NSF. The center is currently considered a self-sufficient center with the majority of its support from industry with some additional funding from other sources. During the past fifteen years, CISR has received significant funding from the Association for Iron & Steel Technology (AIST), the American Iron & Steel Institute (AISI), the Department of Energy (DOE), and individual grants from NSF.

The steel industry is a global and cyclic business. CISR has remained active through these cycles by keeping its focus on basic research and educating the future technical leaders of the industry. The center gained its first international members in 1990 and has since maintained members from around the world.

For students

There are several opportunities that working with CISR provides:

  • Projects are fundamental, but are closely coupled to industrially-relevant problems.
  • There are numerous opportunities to practice writing and presenting.  Students and researchers write reports and give presentations on their work to the CISR industrial members twice a year.  We also encourage attendance at conferences like AISTech, MS&T, and other specialty meetings. CISR research is published in the leading journals in process metallurgy.
  • In addition to the MSE core, most CISR students take the following courses, giving them a strong set of fundamental skills related to process metallurgy:
    • 27-761 - Kinetics of Metallurgical Reactions and Processes
    • 27-721 - Processing Design
    • 27-792 - Solidification Processing
    • 27-702 - Metal/Environment Reactions
    • 27-719 - Computational Thermodynamics