Carnegie Mellon University

Robert A. Heard

Robert A. Heard

Teaching Professor of Materials Science and Engineering

Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890


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


Robert’s current interests are focused on the educational aspects of Materials Science and Engineering, particularly those associated with the business of materials and materials engineering. This involves integration of materials with many other disciplines such as design, public policy, environmental engineering, and others. He teaches Professional Development, Selection and Performance of Materials, and the senior Capstone project course. Co-taught courses include Invention and Innovation in Materials Intensive Technologies, and the laboratory component of Engineering the Materials of the Future.  In addition, he coordinates the Industrial Internship program for the department, is a student advisor and administers the undergraduate facilities. Outside of the department curriculum, Robert offers a university course on Materials, Energy, and the Environment.


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.