Professor Jian Cao is Cardiss Collins Professor of Mechanical Engineering and (by courtesy) Civil and Environmental Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering and Director, Northwestern Initiative for Manufacturing Science and Innovation (NIMSI), at Northwestern University.
Cao's major research interests include innovative manufacturing processes and systems, particularly in the areas of deformation-based processes, laser additive, and hybrid processes. Her research has developed analytical and numerical simulation methods, sensors, and control methods, and has integrated machine learning to achieve co-design of geometry, materials and processes and to advance manufacturing. Her work has direct impacts on energy-efficient manufacturing, surface engineering, and point-of-need manufacturing. She has published over 400 technical articles, including more than 240 journal articles, 10 book chapters, and 15 patents.