C. Cem Tasan

POSCO Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Associate Professor of Metallurgy

Contact Info

Email: tasan@mit.edu
Office: 8-202


Assistant Name: Anna Bloom
Assistant Email: blooma@mit.edu
Assistant Phone: 617-258-8836


Professor Cemal Cem Tasan explores the boundaries of physical metallurgy, solid mechanics, and in situ microscopy to design new alloys with exceptional damage resistance. His research group focuses on developing new in situ characterization tools and methods; improving the physical understanding of transformation, deformation, and damage of micro-mechanisms in metallic materials; and designing damage-resistant microstructures and alloys.


Professor Tasan is the POSCO Professor of Materials Science and Engineering. He earned his BS and MS in the Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering at METU, Middle East Technical University, in Ankara, Turkey. He carried out his PhD work in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands. He then moved to Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung in Germany, where he was appointed first as a postdoc, and then as a group leader. He joined DMSE as a faculty member in 2016 and was granted tenure in 2022.

Key Publications

How hair deforms steel

Discovered why stainless-steel blades lose their sharpness over time. We found that a single strand of hair can cause the blade to chip. These degradations are more likely to happen if the blade’s microstructure is not uniform or if the blade cuts hair at an angle.

To find out why blades quickly get dull even when they interact with much softer material, like human hair.

Understanding the reasons for failure of materials provides us guidelines for improving them. In this case, making blades of more homogeneous microstructures will likely make them chip-resistant and last longer.

Microstructural and micro-mechanical characterization during hydrogen charging: An in situ scanning electron microscopy study

Developed novel methods to study the influence of hydrogen on metallic materials.

Detecting the presence of tiny hydrogen atoms in materials is difficult—so is evaluating their effects on material structure and properties. Systematic studies can best be conducted by charging the samples with hydrogen in real time while studying its effects in a scanning electron microscope.

Hydrogen embrittlement—or cracking in metals due to absorbed hydrogen—is a common phenomenon in high-strength metallic materials and a frustrating problem for many industries. Studying the process can yield techniques to slow or prevent these failures entirely.