1987 Kyoto Prize Laureates

Advanced Technology

Materials Science and Engineering

Morris Cohen

/  Metallurgist

1911 - 2005

Institute Professor Emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Commemorative Lectures

Metallurgy and the Evolution of Materials Science and Engineering


11 /11 Wed

Place:Kyoto International Conference Center


Research and Development for Advanced Materials


11 /12 Thu

13:30 - 17:00

Place:Kyoto International Conference Center

Achievement Digest

Fundamental Contribution to Development of New Materials Based on Creation of Broad and Basic Insights into the Metal Phase Transformation and Structure-Property Relationship

A leading researcher in metallurgy, who has created broad and basic new insights into phase transformation and structure-property relationships in materials and performed a leading role in the development of various materials such as the ultra-high strength steels in use today, the shape-memory alloy, and ceramic materials.

*This field then was Field of Materials Science.


Dr. Morris Cohen began his professional work in 1973 as an assistant professor at MIT. He has devoted his life to education and research in materials science and engineering, particularly in physical metallurgy. And now, he is the preeminent academic leader in the field of materials science and engineering.

His research work has created broad and basic new insights into phase transformations and structure-property relationships in materials. He has played a seminal role in areas including the mechanism and kinetics of martensitic and bainitic transformations, tempering phenomena and strengthening mechanisms of ultra high strength steels, solid-state alloy thermodynamics, age hardening in alloys, deformation-enhanced diffusion, brittle fracture mechanisms in heterogeneous materials, mechanisms of strain hardening and dynamic recovery, strain-induced transformation and transformation plasticity, grain refinement mechanisms in microalloyed steels, and rapid solidification of crystalline alloys. His research not only laid the scientific groundwork for all of the ultra high strength steels in use today, but also is responsible for the advanced materials science that shape memory phenomena and transformation plasticity in metallic, ceramic, and biological systems.

Through his tireless activities, Dr. Cohen has inspired two generations of students and colleagues in the field of materials science and engineering. In addition, he has contributed extensively to international programs as well as national projects. He has already visited many countries to lecture and advise, and has been recognized by over 20 major international awards, honorary degrees, and professorships. His tremendous compassion, intellect, and energies have propelled him to the leadership position he now has.

Dr. Cohen, as a researcher and educator, is still continuing his works to bring them toward completion.


Born in Chelsea, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Doctor of Science in Metallurgy, MIT
Assistant Professor of Metallurgy, MIT
Associate Professor of Metallurgy, MIT
Professor of Physical Metallurgy, MIT
Ford Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, MIT
Institute Professor, MIT
Institute Professor Emeritus, MIT
Selected Awards and Honors
Gold Medal, American Society for Metals
Gold Medal, Japan Institute of Metals
Pierre Chevenard Medal, French Metallurgical Society
National Medal of Science, Presidential Award
Leadership Award, The Metallurgical Society of American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers (AIME)
Selected Publications
The Strengthening of Steel, Trans. Met. Soc. AIME, 224, 1962
Self-Diffusion During Plastic Deformation, Trans. JIM, 11 No.3, 1970.
Materials and Mankind, Naval Research Reviews, XXXI No.10, 1978.
Classical and Non Classical Mechanisms of Martensitic Transformations(G. B. Olson and M. Cohen), Proc. ICOMAT-82 J. de Physique 43, 1982.
Rapid Solidification Processing and the Control of Structure/Property Relationships, Specialty Steels and Hard Materials(N. R. Comins and J. B. Clark), Eds., Pergamon Press, NY, 1983.

Profile is at the time of the award.