P. Chris Pistorius is a metallurgical engineer whose research focuses on production of metals and alloys, mainly steel, and corrosion. A native South African, he received bachelor's and master's degrees in metallurgical engineering from the University of Pretoria, and completed a Ph.D. in corrosion at the University of Cambridge. He was an associate professor and then professor in the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgical Engineering, University of Pretoria, South Africa, from 1991 to 2008. He served as head of that department from May 2002 to June 2008. He has been professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Carnegie Mellon since July 2008, working closely with Richard Fruehan and then Bryan Webler in the Center for Iron and Steelmaking Research. He is the POSCO professor of iron and steelmaking.

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P. Chris Pistorius

Metals Production: Iron & Steelmaking


1991 Ph.D., Corrosion, University of Cambridge

1989 Master of Engineering, Metallurgical Engineering, University of Pretoria

1988 Bachelor of Engineering, Metallurgical Engineering, University of Pretoria

Media mentions

Scott Institute

Pistorius helps create industrial decarbonzation partnership with a $1.5 million NSF grant

MSE’s Chris Pistorius and colleagues create the Industrial Decarbonization Analysis, Benchmarking, and Action (INDABA) partnership with a $1.5 million grant awarded by the National Science Foundation.

Materials Science and Engineering

Carnegie Mellon University hosts 11th North American Materials Education Symposium

In early August, Carnegie Mellon University hosted the 11th North American Materials Education Symposium (NAMES), the first to be held in person since 2019.

Engineering faculty receive NSF funding for decarbonization research

A decarbonization project led by EPP’s Valerie Karplus has received a $1.5 million research grant from the National Science Foundation that runs from 2023 to 2025. Karplus’ collaborators are MSE’s Chris Pistorius, EPP’s Paulina Jaramillo, and EPP’s Edson Severnini.

Scott Institute

Scott Institute announces 2022 seed grants for five projects

The Scott Institute has announced its latest seed grant awards worth $1.42 million to five research projects led by CMU Engineering faculty.

The Pittsburgh Business Times

Pistorius gives lecture at AISTech convention

MSE’s Chris Pistorius took the stage at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center to deliver the Brimacombe Memorial Lecture.

The New York Times

Pistorius in NYT on materials for knives

MSE’s Chris Pistorius was mentioned by The New York Times about the environmental impact of a stainless steel knife.

CMU Engineering

Revisiting steel

Advancing modern steel research allows us to access unique properties while lowering the carbon footprint, and it’s important for education.


Pistorius interviewed for WTAE’s “State of Steel”

A two-part series from WTAE TV shows how steel-making will be a key piece of the regional economy in the future, as steel plants adapt to a world of advanced manufacturing and diminishing reliance on fossil fuels. MSE’s Chris Pistorius discusses new technologies for steel-making in the 21st century for WTAE’s “State of Steel.”

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pistorius comments on U.S. Steel’s double-edged new technology

U.S. Steel plans to invest $1B on a new kind of steel-making process that combines casting and rolling. This new technology could cut energy consumption in half and open up a new kind of steel production, said MSE’s Chris Pistorius. However, the new facility will also raise the stakes on accident prevention and reduce jobs.

Materials Science & Engineering

Pistorius and Assis receive Adrian Normanton Award in metallurgy

MSE’s Chris Pistorius and Ph.D. student Karina Assis have been awarded the Adrian Normanton Award from The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Minin (IOM3).

The New Yorker

Pistorius quoted in The New Yorker about Southern steel

MSE’s Chris Pistorius is quoted in The New Yorker on the automation of the steel industry in the American South.

Pittsburgh Quarterly

Pistorius quoted on cokeless steel production

Steelmakers are looking to make steel without coke, which is an expensive, carbon-rich form of coal that contributes heavily to air pollution. But can blast furnaces function well without coke, or will the steel industry have to make other, more drastic changes to the steelmaking process?