Constance Tipper

Join us for an inspiring talk celebrating the legacy of Constance Tipper (1894-1995), a pioneering metallurgist who worked at Imperial College London and the University of Cambridge, and her groundbreaking contributions to the field.


This talk delves into the pioneering work of Constance Tipper (Elam) and her hidden influence on materials science and metallurgy. Tipper’s early contribution to the theory of dislocation and her research on the ductile-to-brittle transition in metals marked a significant advancement in metallurgy. As the first to employ scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to study metal fractures at a microstructural level, she established a vital precedent in the field.

Building upon this legacy, our current research utilizes in-situ SEM tensile testing to investigate hydrogen embrittlement in nickel alloys and quantitatively analyzes grain boundary slips via digital image correlation (DIC). Understanding the role of hydrogen and slip in embrittled crack initiation contributes to the lifetime prediction and the design of novel, hydrogen-embrittlement resistant alloys. This endeavor resonates with Tipper’s dedication to uncovering the slip band formation and the lifetime prediction of alloys at service.

Tipper’s achievements advanced materials engineering and laid the groundwork for future generations of women in this domain. Her inspiring journey has been a catalyst for us to motivate the younger generation to surmount gender barriers in science and engineering.

Bio of the speaker:

Dr Mengying Liu is an Assistant Professor of Engineering at Washington and Lee University and a visiting fellow at Murray Edwards College at the University of Cambridge. Her primary research interests focus on the environmental degradation of metallic materials. Dr. Liu employs techniques like scanning electron microscopy characterization with digital image correlation to explore the structure-properties relationship of these materials. She holds a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Texas A&M University and an undergraduate degree from Tianjin University in China. Dr. Liu is an awardee from the American Association of University Women, known for her passion for mentoring female students and fostering their academic and personal growth.


Constance Tipper (1894-1995)

Constance Tipper



Getting here