Faculty Directory
Tao Sun

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering


2145 Sheridan Road
Tech L288
Evanston, IL 60208-3109

847-467-2676Email Tao Sun


Mechanical Engineering


PhD, Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

MS, Materials Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China

BS, Materials Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China

Research Interests

Additive manufacturing

In situ/operando characterization and metrology

Synchrotron x-ray imaging and scattering techniques

Ultrafast dynamics in soft and hard condensed matters

Machine design and process sensing

Data analytics and machine learning

Significant Recognition

  • TMS Young Innovator in the Materials Science of Additive Manufacturing Award
  • TMS Structural Materials Division JOM Best Paper Award

Selected Publications

L. Gao, A. Chuang, P. Kenesei, Z. Ren, L. Balderson, T. Sun, “An operando synchrotron study on the effect of wire melting state on solidification microstructures of Inconel 718 in wire-laser directed energy deposition”, International Journal of Machine Tools and Manufacture, 194, (2023) 104089

L. Gao, J. Bhattacharyya, W. Lin, Z. Ren, A. Chuang, P. Shevchenko, V. Nikitin, J. Ma, S. Agnew, T. Sun, “Tailoring material microstructure and property in wire-laser directed energy deposition through a wiggle deposition strategy”, Additive Manufacturing, 77, (2023) 103801

Z. Ren, L. Gao, S. Clark, K. Fezzaa, P. Shevchenko, A. Choi, W. Everhart, A. Rollett, L. Chen, T. Sun, “Machine learning aided real-time detection of keyhole pore generation in laser powder bed fusion”, Science, 379, (2023) 89

C. Zhao, N. Parab, X. Li, K. Fezzaa, W. Tan, A. Rollett, T. Sun, “Critical instability at moving keyhole tip generates porosity in laser melting”, Science, 370, (2020) 1080

R. Cunningham*, C. Zhao*, N. Parab, K. Fezzaa, T. Sun, A. Rollett, “Keyhole Threshold and Morphology in Laser Melting Revealed by Ultrahigh-Speed X-ray Imaging”, Science, 363, (2019) 849 (*equal contribution)

C. Zhao, Q. Guo, X. Li, N. Parab, K. Fezzaa, W. Tan, L. Chen, T. Sun, “Bulk explosion induced metal spattering during laser processing”, Physical Review X, 9, (2019) 021052

C. Zhao, B. Shi, S. Chen, D. Du, T. Sun, B. Simonds, K. Fezzaa, A. Rollett, “Laser melting modes in metal powder bed fusion additive manufacturing”, Review of Modern Physics, 94, (2022) 045002

S. Hojjatzadeh, N. Parab, W. Yan, Q. Guo, L. Xiong, C. Zhao, L. Escano, M. Qu, X. Xiao, K. Fezzaa, W. Everhart, T. Sun, L. Chen, “Mechanisms of pore elimination during 3D printing of metals”, Nature Communications, 10, (2019) 3088

In The News


Machine Learning Approach Helps Hit 100% Prediction Rate

Researchers unveil new AI-driven method for improving additive manufacturing

Eye on laser fusion

Beautiful Physics Governs Complex Energy-matter Interactions

X-Ray Movie Reveals Origin of Metal Splashing

New research identifies causes for defects in 3D printing and paves way for better results

Adding It Up: Three Routes to Better 3-D Printing

Heat of the moment

X-ray vision accelerates 3-D printing journey