Carnegie Mellon University

Robert Heard

Robert A. Heard

Teaching Professor of Materials Science and Engineering

  • Wean Hall 3307
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


Robert is a Teaching Professor in the Materials Science and Engineering Department. His past work includes activities as an industrial consultant, entrepreneur, president of a nanotechnology company, and vice president in several engineering companies. His interests and experience lies largely with applications and commercialization of high performance new materials and technologies. He has served on the Board of Directors of the AIST, worked on several committees in professional societies, and is a member of MRS, ASM, TMS, Sigma Xi and ASEE. He has authored 30+ technical papers on a wide range of activities in materials science, including education, innovation management, the sustainability of materials, nano-materials, steelmaking, casting, plasma and alternate iron technologies. He has also authored a book on the Horizontal Continuous Casting of Steel.


Ph.D., University of Toronto


Heard has more than 20 years of industrial experience in design of high temperature/energy processes and equipment including casting equipment, arc and plasma technologies. His significant expertise is the thermal modeling of these systems.

Heard's current interests are the processing and recovery of rare earth elements from ore or scrap to fulfill the need for future energy technologies. His work is progressing and integrating the current industrial and govenment policies into research directions.


R. A. Heard, J. F. Whitacre, Teaching Innovation and Economic Content to Materials Science and Engineering Students: Innovation for Materials Intensive Technologies and Industries, Paper 11619, ASEE Annual Conference, June 2015, Seattle WA.

R A Heard, C. Hendrickson, F. McMichael, Sustainable Development and Physical Infrastructure Materials, MRS Bulletin, Special Issue, April 2012, vol. 37, no. 4, pp. 389-394.

R.A. Heard, Technology Impact – From Utopia to Wasteland, Presented at ASEE, June 2012, San Antonio, TX.

R.A. Heard, Instruction of Professional Skills to Material Science and Engineering Students using a Multi-Year Module Approach, Presented at ASEE, June 2010, Louisville, KY.

D. Matthews, R. Heard, The Use of A Multidisciplinary Project to Expand the Materials Science Curriculum, Symposium W, MRS Boston, 2007.

D. Matthews, R. Heard, “Greening of Education: Engineering Courses to Non-Technical Audiences” Paper presented at ASEE, June 2006, Chicago.

R.A. Heard, “Engineering for the Future – The Need for Innovation”, Iron and Steelmaker, ISS-AIME, March 2003, pp. 37-42.