To Conduct Basic Fundamental Research Relevant To The Production Of Iron And Steel And The Education Of Students For The Steel And Related Industries.


The Center for Iron & Steelmaking Research began as a coordinated effort between the steel industry, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and CMU. 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 additional funding from other sources. During the past fifteen years CISR has received significant funding from, such as the Association for Iron & Steel Technology (AIST), the American Iron & Steel Institute (AISI), the Department of Energy (DOE), and individual grants from NSF.

The Center has been driven by several prestigious faculty members. The current Director is POSCO Professor P. Chris Pistorius. Professor Bryan Webler is a faculty member in the Center.  The Center’s Director Emeritus is US Steel University Professor Richard Fruehan, who joined CMU in 1984 and was a co-founder of the Center. Professor Pistorius joined CMU and CISR in 2008. Professor Webler joined in 2013. Former faculty members include co-founder and Professor Alan Cramb and Professor Sridhar Seetharaman.

The steel industry in the 21 st century is a global business. The first international members of the Center joined in 1990 and the Center has since had members from around the world. The steel industry in the 21 st century is also a cyclic business. The Center has remained active through these cycles with its focus on basic research and education of the future technical leaders of the industry.

Industrial Members

  • ArcelorMittal
  • Nucor Steel
    • Decatur
    • Berkeley
    • Crawfordsville
  • Praxair Inc.
  • Universal Stainless
  • U.S. Steel Research and Technology Center
  • Vallourec Soluções Tubulares do Brasil
  • Vallourec Star


Membership in CISR is open to any company with an interest in steel process metallurgy. Our work spans topics that interest producers, suppliers, and users of carbon, specialty, and stainless steels.

Membership fees range between $40,000 and $60,000 per year, depending on company size. Three year commitments are typical for members. Membership allows access to research underway in the Center. Reports are sent approximately two weeks before the biannual Center meetings in Pittsburgh (videoconference options are available as well). Each member has one seat on the board.

Any member can suggest projects. These suggestions are typically made at the Spring meeting (usually in May). The faculty will then work with the member to develop the scope and decide the appropriate level of effort (~1.5 year Masters project, ~3.5 year PhD project, or variable duration postdoc project). The faculty will present the slate of new projects for approval by the board at the Fall meeting (usually in October).

Members also have limited rights to patents and software as detailed in the terms of the membership agreement.

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