Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Monday, February 13, 2012

Laser innovator elected to National Academy of Engineering

The developer of an “Art to Part” 3-D metal printing process that lets manufacturers make parts straight from drawings has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).

Jyoti Mazumder, the Robert H. Lurie Professor of Mechanical Engineering and a professor in materials science and engineering, is one of 66 new members and 10 foreign associates, the NAE announced Friday.

  Jyoti Mazumder

Election to the National Academy of Engineering — among the highest professional distinctions an engineer can achieve — honors pioneering new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing innovative approaches to engineering education.

“I am humbled by this recognition from my peers,” says Mazumder, who also is director of the Center for Laser-Aided Intelligent Manufacturing.

Mazumder was honored for two achievements in particular. He has developed some of the most sophisticated mathematical models to describe how heat from lasers affects materials. He has also invented a process and technology that allows manufacturers to “write with metal pixel by pixel,” he says.

“Direct metal deposition, as our technique is called, allows you to create 3-D shapes directly from computer-aided design by adding materials instead of subtracting, which is the present practice,” he says.

The technology eliminates the need to make a mold for each part to be manufactured. Mazumder is commercializing it through his company, POM Group Inc., which has installed machines in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

The new election brings the total U-M NAE membership (including emeritus professors) to 26. The NAE now has a total of 2,254 U.S. members and 206 foreign associates.