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

Google Scholar

  • 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
  • N. Parab*, C. Zhao*, R. Cunningham, L. Escano, K. Fezzaa, W. Everhart, A. Rollett, L. Chen, T. Sun, “Ultrafast X-ray Imaging of Laser Metal Additive Manufacturing Processes”, Journal of Synchrotron Radiation, 25, (2018) 1467 (*equal contribution, Top 10% most downloaded paper of JSR in 2018-2019)
  • C. Zhao, K. Fezzaa, R. Cunningham, H. Wen, F. De Carlo, L. Chen, A. Rollett, T. Sun, “Real-time monitoring of laser powder bed fusion process using high-speed X-ray imaging and diffraction”, Scientific Reports, 7, (2017) 3602 (Top 100 in Materials Science in Scientific Reports in 2017)
  • N. Parab, J. Barnes, C. Zhao, R. Cunningham, K. Fezzaa, A. Rollett, T. Sun, “Real time observation of binder jetting printing process using high-speed X-ray imaging”, Scientific Reports, 9, (2019) 2499 (Top 100 Materials Science in Scientific Reports in 2019)


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