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Dr. Kar T. Tan

Dr. Kar T. Tan is a guest researcher in the Polymeric Materials Group of the Materials and Structural Systems Division (MSSD) of the Engineering Laboratory (EL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Dr. Tan joined the Polymeric Materials Group of the Materials and Construction Division as a guest researcher in July 2005. His research efforts include the development of metrology for service life prediction of polymers, adhesive joints, and building joint sealants. He is also involved in projects related to improvement and development of adhesion test methods for spray-applied fire resistive materials, and investigation on the mechanisms and mechanics of adhesion loss in aqueous environments.

Dr. Tan received a Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College London, UK, in July 2001 and a Ph.D. degree from the same university in Nov 2005. His thesis work involved elucidation of mechanisms and mechanics of environmental attack on structural adhesive joints. Dr. Tan is a member of the Adhesion Society, Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society, and the Society for Adhesion and Adhesives (UK), and an associate of the City and Guilds of London Institute (UK). He serves as a reviewer for numerous journals including Journal of Adhesion, Journal of Adhesion Science and Technology, Journal of Applied Polymer Science, Journal of Material Research, and Macromolecular Materials and Engineering.

He has received an Unwin Prize and Margaret Cantenary Memorial Prize of the Imperial College London for the best Ph.D. thesis of the year and for the last five-year period, respectively. He was the recipient of a Peebles Travel Award for Graduate Research in Adhesion Science and an Alan Gent Distinguished Student Paper Award from the Adhesion Society in 2005. In 2008, Dr. Tan was awarded the first Outstanding Young Adhesion Technologist Award from the Adhesion Society for his contribution to the understanding of the role moisture plays in the failure of adhesives, sealants, and coatings. That same year, Dr. Tan was also given the BFRL Distinguished Associate Award. In 2009, Dr. Tan and co-authors were given both the Best Poster and Distinguished Paper awards by the Adhesion Society for their works on the durability of adhesive joints and the development of test method for characterizing weathering of sealants, respectively.

Dr. Kar T. Tan


Guest Researcher
Materials and Structural Systems Division
Polymeric Materials Group


Imperial College of London, UK, Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, 2005

Imperial College of London, UK, B.E., Mechanical Engineering, 2001


Phone: 301-975-4686
Email: kar.tan@nist.gov