Prof. Marcel A. J. SOMERS

Prof. Marcel A. J. SOMERS

Technical University of Denmark, Kgs. Lyngb, Denmark, EU

Position: Professor at Technical University of Denmark, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Kgs. Lyngb, Denmark, EU

Specialization: Materials Science and Engineering, Heat Treatment and Surface Engineering, Materials Characterisation, Thermodynamics and Phase Transformations

At the METAL 2016 conference Prof. Somers will present the plenary lecture "Thermochemical Surface Engineering: a Playground for Science and Innovation".


Marcel A.J. Somers (1960) received his M.Sc. degree in metallurgy (1985) and his Doctor’s degree (1989) from Delft University of Technology (NL). In 89/90 he was with Philips Center for Materials, Technology and Innovation as section leader in advanced materials characterization. He returned to Delft University of Technology as assistant professor in physical chemistry of the solid state in 90 and was appointed full professor of physical metallurgy at DTU in 97. A red thread through Dr. Somers’ scientific work is gas-metal interactions in surface engineering and gaseous corrosion along with microstructure characterization with microscopy, diffraction and spectroscopy. His work is of fundamental character with a technological importance and spin-off for industrial application. Since 2000 Marcel Somers has led a university group in Materials Science an Engineering with strong expertise in atmospheric, aqueous and microbial corrosion, (electro)chemical deposition of metals and alloys and the stability of high temperature materials in coal and biomass fired power plants. Marcel Somers has published more than 140 papers in international scientific and technological journals and conference proceedings. He was awarded the Brandsma prize (89); ASM European Lecturer (99/00); Reinholdt W. Jorck prize (01) and DTU's innovation prize (07). He is an elected member of the Danish Society for Technical Sciences (ATV) since 99 and is chairman of the Danish Research Council for Technology and Production Sciences (FTP) from 07-09. 



Supervisor for 25 Ph.D. students and 50 MSc students.  Wide experience with teaching in materials science and engineering at all university levels in four languages. Initiated a M.Sc. education in materials at Technical University of Denmark in 1998, which has further developed into a successful M.Sc. education in Materials and Manufacturing Engineering. Developed courses in physical metallurgy, practical metallurgy, experimental methods for materials microstructure characterization.


Project leader and principal investigator of numerous research projects in The Netherlands and Denmark. Research topics vary from fundamental to applied. The research topics are broad within materials and surface engineering. In general phase transformations in metallic materials, mostly steels, materials characterisation with reflected light and electron microscopy, X-ray and electron diffraction as well as optical and electron spectroscopy. More specifically, gas-metal interactions as a basis for understanding and optimizing thermochemical surface engineering and high temperature corrosion. Thermodynamics and kinetics modelling in relation to surface engineering and oxidation. 


  1. M.A.J. Somers, T. Christiansen, P. Møller- Indsætningshærdning af rustfrit stål/ Case hardening of stainless steel, EP 1521861 B1, 2003, DK174707 B1, 2003, WO 2004007789-A2.
  2. F.T. Petersen, T. Christiansen, R.B. Frandsen, M.A.J. Somers- A metal strip product, such as an electrical contact spring, and the manufacturing thereof, WO 2006 130074 A1, 2006.
  3. M.A.J. Somers, T. Christiansen- Carburizing in hydrocarbon gas, WO 2006 136166 A1, 2006, US 8,784,576 B2
  4. T.L. Christiansen. T.S. Hummelshøj, M.A.J. Somers-A method of activating an article of ferrous or non-ferrous metal prior to carburizing, nitriding and/or nitrocarburising,  EP 2278038 A1, 2011, WO 2011 09463 A1.
  5. T.L. Christiansen. T.S. Hummelshøj, M.A.J. Somers- Forming expanded austenite and/or expanded martensite by solution hardening of cold deformed workpiece of passive alloy, WO2012 146254-A1
  6. T.L. Christiansen. T.S. Hummelshøj, M.A.J. Somers-  Solution hardening of cold deformed passive alloy workpiece used to form component e.g. lock washer, involves dissolving nitrogen in workpiece and cooling in presence of inert gas which does not contain nitrogen at preset temperature, WO2013159781-A1.
  7. T.L. Christiansen, M.A.J. Somers, R.B. Frandsen - Process for the preparation of porous nitrided iron material, WO2015 193295-A1.
The status of these patents is as follows:
Patent 1 has been licensed to a heat treatment company for three years and was commercialised under the tradename StainiHard; it is currently abandoned because of improved technology.
Patent 2 was sold to Sandvik Materials Technology
Patent 3 was sold to Bodycote and is applied
Patents 4-6 form the IP basis of the spin-out company Expanite A/S and are applied.
1 more patent application has been filed, but as it is not public yet, the title cannot be mentioned here.