Department of Mechanical Engineering | Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering | Northwestern University| U.S.A


Professor Jian Cao

Jian Cao received her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from M.I.T. in 1995. She is currently a Professor of Mechanical Engineering, a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and an Associate Vice President for Research at Northwestern University. She is a co-director of the NSF Summer Institute on Nanomechanics, Nanomaterials and Micro/Nano-manufacturing.

During her tenure at Northwestern, she took a one-year leave at General Motors and a two-year leave at the National Science Foundation as a program director. Prof. Cao’s major research interests include innovative manufacturing processes and systems, particularly in the area of deformation-based processes and laser ablation processes. Her research has integrated analytical and numerical simulation methods, control and sensors to advance manufacturing processes. Current research on flexible dieless forming, micro-forming, laser ablation processes has direct impacts on energy-efficient manufacturing, surface engineering and point-of-need manufacturing. She has published about 250 technical articles, including over 100 journal articles, 10 book chapters, and more than 10 awarded and pending patents. She has given over 100 invited talks.

Professor Cao is a Fellow of Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), a Fellow of American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and an associate member of the International Academy for Production Engineering (CIRP). Her awards include ASME Blackall Machine and Gage Award, NSF CAREER award, SME Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award, the Young Investigator Award from the Japan-US Flexible Automation, and the Young Investigator Award from the ASME Applied Mechanics Division.

Professor Cao is the Technical Editor (Editor-in-Chief) for the ASME Journal of Micro- and Nano-Manufacturing. She is an active member of professional societies, served as President of the SME North America Manufacturing Research Institute, and Chair of ASME Manufacturing Engineering Division.