Northwestern University Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science

Advanced Manufacturing Processes Laboratory

Jian Cao


Jian Cao

Cardiss Collins Professor

Director, Northwestern Initiative for Manufacturing Science and Innovation (NIMSI)

Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Materials Processing Technology

Phone: 847-467-1032

Professor Jian Cao joined Northwestern University shortly after receiving her Ph.D. degree from M.I.T. in 1995. She received her M.S. from M.I.T. and B.S. from Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Currently, she is the Cardiss Collins Professor and Director of Northwestern Initiative for Manufacturing Science and Innovation at Northwestern University. 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 of Materials Processing and Manufacturing (MPM) program. She also served as the Director of Graduate Studies of Mechanical Engineering and served as an Associate Vice President for Research at the university from October 2012 to August 2021.

Prof. Cao’s major research interests include innovative manufacturing processes and systems, particularly in the areas of deformation-based processes and laser processes. Her research has integrated analytical and numerical simulation methods, control and sensors, design methodologies to advance manufacturing processes. Prof. Cao has published over 400 technical articles, including over 230 journal articles, 10 book chapters, about 20 patents. She has given nearly 160 invited talks and published op-ed articles.

Professor Cao is an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering, and an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), ASME, SME, and of the International Academy for Production Engineering (CIRP). Her major awards include the ASME Milton C. Shaw Manufacturing Research Medal (2020), SME Gold Medal (2020), Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship from DoD (2019), Charles Russ Richards Memorial Award (2017) from ASME and Pi Tau Sigma, SME Frederick W. Taylor Research Medal (2016), ASME Blackall Machine Tool and Gage Award (2012, 2018), ASME Young Investigator Award (2006) from Applied Mechanics Division, and the NSF CAREER Award.

Prof. Cao is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Materials Processing Technology and the founding Technical Editor of the ASME Journal of Micro- and Nano-manufacturing. She served as President of the SME North America Manufacturing Research Institute, and Chair of ASME’s Manufacturing Engineering Division. She is a recipient of the ASME Dedicated Service Award (2011). She currently serves as Chair for the ASME Technical Committee on Publications and Communications.