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Honors and Awards

Jian Cao Receives Charles Russ Richards Memorial Award

Award honors Cao’s outstanding achievement in mechanical engineering

Northwestern Engineering’s Jian Cao has received the 2017 Charles Russ Richards Memorial Award, a joint award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and Pi Tau Sigma National Mechanical Engineering Honor Society.

The award recognizes one individual each year for demonstrating outstanding achievement in mechanical engineering. She will officially accept the award in November at the ASME annual meeting and will become the first woman to receive the award since it was established in 1947.

Jian CaoCao is the Cardiss Collins Professor of Mechanical Engineering in Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering and an associate vice president for research at Northwestern.

The founding director of the Northwestern Initiative on Manufacturing Science and Innovation, Cao is internationally recognized for her broad impact on the fundamental understanding of process mechanics, which has led to innovative manufacturing processes.

Last year, Cao was the first woman to receive the prestigious Frederick W. Taylor Research Medal from SME, previously known as the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. The highest honor given by SME to a researcher in the broad manufacturing field, the medal recognized Cao’s pioneering research on innovative manufacturing processes.

An elected fellow of SME, the International Academy of Production Engineering (CIRP), and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Cao has received multiple awards, including the ASME Blackall Machine Tool and Gage Award, NSF CAREER Award, ASME Thomas J.R. Hughes Young Investigator Award, and SME’s Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award. She is also the founding technical editor of the Journal of Micro- and Nano-Manufacturing.

Before joining Northwestern in 1995, Cao was a postdoctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she also earned her master’s degree and PhD. She received her bachelor’s degree from Shanghai Jiao Tong University.