News and Events


2014 年 10 月 14 日
Seminar - Flexible Energy-Efficient Manufacturing By Prof. Jian Cao

Date: 14 October 2014 (Tuesday)

Time: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Venue: EF305, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University


This talk will include two parts. In the first part the development of innovative
methods for characterizing the mechanical properties of nanowires, nanobelts and
ultrathin films will be introduced. In the second part the fundamental understanding of
deformation mechanisms of a thin film multilayered structure under mechanical loading
and its removal characteristics involved in abrasive machining will be discussed.

Manufacturing has enormous opportunities to make transitional and transformative contributions to sustainability and economy. This workshop focuses on two technologies and their fundamentals that will enhance energy efficiency and material utilization, i.e., dieless incremental forming for rapid forming and surface texturing methods for increasing wear resistance and reducing friction. Double-Sided Incremental Forming (DSIF) deforms a piece of sheet metal into a three-dimensional form as a result of point-by-point deformation through an active control of two genetic tools, one on each side of the sheet. DSIF eliminates the need for geometric-specific tooling and has shown great process flexibility along with a significant increase in forming limit. These advantages have placed DSIF as an alternative process for satisfying the need for low volume, flexible, and rapid prototyping/production and for lightening the weight of sheet metal parts. Recent advancements in the understanding of the deformation mechanism and process innovations to increase geometrical accuracy will be presented. It has been noted that friction and wear consume about one third of the total energy generated. Traditional friction and wear reduction strategies include: reduction of the surface roughness of contact parts, deposition of low friction coatings on the substrate surfaces, and lubrication of the interface. A relatively new approach is surface texturing in the micro-scale range on the surface of the interface part. Our work has demonstrated that significant tribological improvements for friction reduction and dramatic improvement of tool life of drill bits in drilling titanium alloys are achieved when properly designed dimples are formed on the surface of contacting parts. Methods of producing surface texturing will be presented, which hold the promise of enabling rapid texturing on hard materials.


Jian Cao received her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from M.I.T. in 1995. Dr. Cao is currently a Professor of Mechanical Engineering and an Associate Vice President for Research at Northwestern University. She is a member of Technical Advisory Committee of the newly established Digital Manufacturing and Design Institute based in Chicago. She was 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, and design methodologies to advance manufacturing processes. Current research on flexible dieless forming, micro-forming, laser ablation processes has direct impacts on energyefficient manufacturing, surface engineering and rapid manufacturing. She has published about 250 technical articles, including over 100 journal articles, 10 book chapters, and 6 patents. She has given over 100 invited talks. Professor Cao is a Fellow of the International Academy for Production Engineering (CIRP), a Fellow of Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), and a Fellow of American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). Her awards include STLE Best Paper Award, 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. Prof. 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, and received ASME Dedicated Service Award.