Professor Jian Cao

Jian CaoDr. Cao (MIT’95) is the Cardiss Collins Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Director of Northwestern Initiative for Manufacturing Science and Innovation, and an Associate VP for Research at Northwestern University. Prof. Cao’s research include flexible forming, micro-forming, laser ablation and additive manufacturing focusing on energy-efficiency and cyber-physical integration.

She has published over 300 articles, including 150 journal papers and 13 patents. Professor Cao is a Fellow of CIRP, SME and ASME.

Her major awards include SME Frederick W. Taylor Research Medal and ASME Blackall Machine and Gage Award. She is the Technical Editor of the ASME Journal of Micro- and Nano-Manufacturing



Abstract: The Art and Science of Flexible Sheet Metal Forming 

How human being utilizes metal tools was once one of the key criteria in assessing the degree of civilization. Today, metal products are at every corner of our life, from art decoration to zillions of connectors in electronic products, from implants inside of our human body to satellites outside of the Earth. Flexible manufacturing processes can maximize design freedom and stimulate innovation for customized products. In this talk, various forms of incremental sheet forming currently conducted at the Advanced Manufacturing Processes Laboratory of Northwestern and its collaborators will be presented to illustrate the fundamental mechanics and great potentials of these processes, as well as the challenges in modelling, control and design of this kind of highly flexible forming processes.