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Advanced Materials & Manufacturing

Illinois Ignite 2020 has ended.  However, if you are interested in seeing the recording of a presentation(s), please email Nicole Nair, 



John Anderson
University of Chicago

Bringing Batteries to the Molecular Scale: Fundamentally New Tunable Materials For High-Performance Cathodes

John Anderson joined the University of Chicago in 2015 after completing his post-doctoral work at Northwestern University and doctoral research at California Institute of Technology. His research focuses on developing inorganic synthetic chemistries to solve problems relevant in nature, energy, and new materials. He is the recipient of the 2019 Sloan Research Fellowship, 2018 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award, and 2017 National Science Foundation Career Award.

Mohammad Asadi
Illinois Institute of Technology

Carbon Neutral Production of Chemicals and Fuels

Mohammad Asadi joined the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department (ChBE) at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) as Assistant Professor in 2017. Previously, he was a research associate at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Asadi completed his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at UIC and received his Master of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology. He spent seven years of working experience in the oil and gas industry before joining UIC. His research interests are experimental studies of surface chemistry in catalytic and electrocatalytic reactions, electrochemical energy storage (e.g., metal-ion and metal-air batteries) and energy conversion (e.g., CO2 reduction reaction) systems as well as design, synthesis, and characterization of advanced materials for sustainable energy technologies.  

Jian Cao

Dieless Sheet Forming Process for Rapid Deployment

Jian Cao has integrated analytical and numerical simulation methods, control and sensors, design methodologies to advance manufacturing processes. Her work has made fundamental contributions to the characterization of the effects of material structure on forming behavior of metals and woven composites. Her group has designed unique manufacturing equipment for microforming, dieless sheet forming, and additive manufacturing and current work has direct impacts on energy-efficient manufacturing, surface engineering, and distributed manufacturing. Prof. Cao has received significant recognition as the 2019 Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellow of the US DoD, 2019 DOE Distinguished Achievement Team Award recognizing outstanding industry-university-government partnerships with Ford, Dow Chemical and NIST, and a 2019 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She leads Northwestern University’s Advanced Manufacturing Processes Laboratory.

Caralynn Collens
Dimension Inx

3D Printing for Tissue and Organ Regeneration: Turning Promise into Reality

Caralynn Nowinski Collens is CEO of Dimension Inx, a regenerative medicine company harnessing the power of a patented 3D-printing biomaterials design and manufacturing platform. It creates proprietary biomaterials to construct 3D-printed bioactive structures that enable organ and tissue regeneration and repair.  With a robust patent portfolio and an expert team focused on advanced materials and product design, Dimension Inx partners with leading medical device and biotech companies to bring clinically-superior solutions to market. Its products aim to address a wide spectrum of medical conditions, including cleft palate, airway defects, spinal cord injury, heart attack and more. 

James Hendrick

Unlocking High Area Rapid 3D Printing for Manufacturing 

James Hedrick is CEO and co-founder of Azul 3D, a company from Prof. Chad Mirkin’s laboratory that is commercializing the first 3D printing technology capable of competing with the speed, strength, and economy of scale of injection molding. It is setting out to make a paradigm shift in manufacturing by taking 3D printing from prototypes and limited runs to manufacturing in one streamlined process.

Startup: Azul 3D -- aims to revolutionize advanced manufacturing with high-throughput 3D printing technologies that take ideas from prototyping to manufacturing in a streamlined, low-cost solution


Jiwoong Park
University of Chicago

Atomically Thin Circuits

Jiwoong Park is focused on building atomically-thin integrated circuitry and exploring novel electrical, optical and optoelectronic properties in low-dimensional nanostructures for the development of advanced devices. He is an expert in the emerging field of 2D layered materials having participated in the 2018 TedxKFAS as a speaker, recipient of an NSF CAREER award, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, and the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship and is an Associate Editor of Nano Letters.

Bozhi Tian
University of Chicago

Tissue-like Materials: From Bioelectronics to Trainable Systems

Bozhi Tian’s research is focused on probing the molecular-nano interface between biological and semiconductor systems, placing an emphasis on novel material synthesis and device conception to solve biological problems. He has established an approach for the systematic design of silicon structures for multiscale and optically-controlled bio-interfaces. Using this approach, he has developed free-standing silicon nanomaterials for neuronal and immune cell modulation and a silicon mesh for remote modulation of organ electrical activity. Dr. Tian's accolades include Inaugural ETH Materials Research Prize for Young Investigators (2017), C&EN's Talented 12 (2017), Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) (2016), NIH new innovator award (2016), ONR young investigator award (2016), and Sloan fellowship (2016).

Reza Shahbazian-Yassar
University of Illinois at Chicago

Graphene Oxide Membrane Coating to Enhance the Performance of Li Batteries

Professor Reza Shahbazian-Yassar is currently a Professor at University of Illinois at Chicago's Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering, and the Department of Civil & Materials Engineering. He is the former chair of Advanced Characterization, Simulation, and Testing (ACST) committee of The Materials Society (TMS), and the former President and Director of Materials Science Program at Midwest Microscopy and Microanalysis Society (M3S). He is also a member of the Editorial Board for Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A. He is prolific scholar, publishing more than 200 peer-reviewed research articles with an h-index of 41 and more than 5500 citations. In 2016, he received the Structural Materials Division Young Leaders Professional Development Award from The Materials Society.