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UT, ORNL Get a LIFT from Manufacturing Innovation Center

Suresh Babu an William Peter LIFTThe role of UT’s College of Engineering as a leader in advanced materials research got yet another boost recently as Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow, or LIFT, officially opened its headquarters.

Part of the American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute that was launched in February 2014, the Michigan-headquartered LIFT will focus on improving the performance, capabilities, and costs associated with materials such as aluminum, advanced steels, magnesium, and titanium.

Led by EWI, an independent research group in Ohio, the consortium includes several academic, research, and corporate partners, with joint UT-Oak Ridge National Laboratory Governor’s Chair in Advanced Manufacturing Suresh Babu’s involvement being a key initial connection to the project.

Babu will now serve as a principal investigator on the project. From his standpoint, the project is one that offers mutually beneficial possibilities.

“The expertise we already have and can bring to the group on certain materials like titanium makes us an attractive partner,” said Babu. “We can offer up our knowledge in areas like that from our end, and at the same time we get the benefit of the various studies and research that other partners have done. By pooling our knowledge and our research we can really make an impact.”

Additionally, William Peter, who serves as a joint faculty member with ORNL and the College of Engineering, has been chosen to lead one of the main thrusts, focusing on powder processing.

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