Skip to content

University of Tennessee College of Engineering Names New Governor’s Chair in Advanced Manufacturing

Suresh Babu
Dr. Sudarsanam Suresh Babu

Knoxville, Tenn.—The University of Tennessee College of Engineering has named Dr. Sudarsanam Suresh Babu as the new Governor’s Chair in Advanced Manufacturing, effective July 1, 2013. He will also be a professor based in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering (MABE) at UT and will have a joint professorship with the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE). As a Governor’s Chair, he will also have an appointment in the Energy and Environmental Sciences Directorate and in the Advanced Manufacturing Program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

Babu, a former professor in the Welding Engineering Program in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at The Ohio State University (OSU), directed a National Science Foundation Industry and University Cooperative Research (IUCRC) center centered on materials joining for energy applications.

Babu received his bachelor of engineering degree in metallurgy from P.S.G. College of Technology, Coimbatore, India, and his master of technology in industrial metallurgy-welding from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, Chennai, India. He was granted his doctoral degree in materials science from the University of Cambridge.

Prior to joining the OSU faculty, during 2005-2007 Babu was the Technology Leader, Engineering and Materials in the Technical Division of the Edison Welding Institute in Columbus, Ohio. He also served in several positions at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) from 1993 through 2005, including post-doctoral scholar, research professor, and member of the research and development staff and the senior research and development staff.

Babu’s work has been career-focused on both basic and applied research areas pertaining to structural metals, materials, and processing, which are applicable to the fundamental challenges in bringing additive manufacturing (3D printing) and other advanced manufacturing concepts further into broader production use. He uses computational materials science and computational and multi-scale characterization tools to understand fundamental issues in non-equilibrium phase transformations in materials subjected to thermo-chemical-mechanical-magnetic fields. For the future, he is particularly interested in exploring the intersections between product design, manufacturing, and materials science, especially with new and transformative processes.

In his current research, Babu analyzes crystallographic and chemical constitutions within these processed materials, using ex-situ characterization tools including electronic microscopy and atom probe field ion microscopy. Additionally, to understand the dynamics of these changes during processing, he and his research team have used in-situ coupling effects and the application of in-situ scattering tools based on neutron and synchrotron diffraction sources. Babu’s team captures this information with integrated process-material performance models and deploys this technology to industries via high-performance computers. These techniques and his accumulated experience in material science will provide an outstanding foundation to an expanded research agenda that will not only include materials innovation but also integration with the entire product design phase through manufacturing methods.

Babu will lead basic and applied research in a wide range of additive and other advanced manufacturing processes including product design implications in collaboration with faculty and students at UT as well as with researchers at the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF) at ORNL.

Babu, an internationally respected researcher, has received numerous awards and recognitions including the American Welding Society’s (AWS) Fellow and AWS Adams Memorial Award; the American Society of Materials (ASM) Fellow Award; and the OSC College of Engineering’s Lumley Interdisciplinary Award in 2012. He also was awarded the High Performance Computing Innovation Excellence Award by IDC for his leadership in the deploying of Internet-based computational weld mechanics tools; he was the co-recipient of AWS Warren Savage Memorial Award; co-recipient of the AWS William Spraragen Award; and he received the AWS William Irrgang Memorial Award in 2011. Babu was the co-recipient of McKay Helm Award from the AWS in 2009 and in 2007 was named one the twenty nominees for a TopCat innovation award related to leading a technology team.

He is currently the AWS A9 Committee Chairman and a member of the ASM Alloy Phase Diagram committee. Babu has also served as a member of the Entrepreneur Scholars of the College of Engineering at OSU; the Technology Council in EWI, the seed money review committee at ORNL; and the AWS Technical Papers Committee. He is also co-organizer of an international symposium on in-situ studies with photos, electrons, and neutron scattering in collaboration with researchers from Germany, Japan, and Brazil.

He is an organizing member of HTM 21 Symposium at NIMS, Tsukuba, Japan, and has served on the board of review for Welding in the World and Welding Journalfrom 2008, Science and Technology of Welding and Joining from 2001, andMetallurgical and Materials Transactions from 1996. He is currently serving as a reviewer for several reputed international journals including Philosophical MagazineActa MaterialiaWelding JournalScripta Materialia, Science Technology of Welding and Joining, Journal of Materials Research, and theMaterials Research Bulletin.

For more information, contact Kim Cowart in the Engineering Communications Office at (865) 974-0686/