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2019 Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship Spotlight: Jian Cao

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Unlike many materials scientists, Dr. Cao isn’t studying the specific properties of exotic materials, but is working on a way to describe all of the approaches in manufacturing them. Under her fellowship award, she will establish a Manufacturing Process Compiler that would consider product size, available materials, and available manufacturing methods to generate processing streams, based on the fundamental principles of physical interactions between product and tools. This research will include the development of a foundational ‘language’ that describes manufacturing processes, as well as automated procedures for attribute analysis and process evaluation. This will allow a much faster transition from material samples to bulk production, facilitate the exploration of new manufacturing methods, with significant potential impact on supply-chain robustness for the DoD. For more, see:                                                                                   http://ampl.mech.northwestern.edu/