Shao named top young manufacturing engineer by ASME


Julia Park

Chenhui ShaoAssistant Professor Chenhui Shao was honored with the 2021 Chao & Trigger Young Manufacturing Engineer Award from ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers). The award recognizes a young manufacturing researcher under 40 with potential for significant fundamental contributions to the science and technology of manufacturing processes.

Shao was awarded for his significant achievements in the development of innovative data science-based methods to enhance the quality and robustness of manufacturing processes and their implementation in industry, and for advancing the fundamental understanding of joining mechanisms in ultrasonic metal welding.

This marks the third time in just six years that a researcher from UIUC – all from MechSE – has received the award since its inception in 2011.

Shao was presented with the award last month at the ASME International Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference, the foremost international forum for applied research and industrial applications in manufacturing and design.

Shao’s research focuses on smart manufacturing, big data analytics in manufacturing, machine

learning, statistics, materials joining, and manufacturing systems control and automation. With smart manufacturing still in its beginning stages, he has experience working with industry partners in manufacturing and is one of just a handful of faculty at UIUC working at the intersection of manufacturing, big data, and machine learning. Shao has contributed tremendously to the area of smart manufacturing by developing a number of innovative data science (machine learning and statistics) methods that have been validated and implemented by industry.

His work has been recognized with other prominent awards in the last few years as well. Earlier this year, he won the 2021 Outstanding Young Investigator Award from the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers Manufacturing & Design Division (IISE M&D). In 2020, he won a prestigious NSF CAREER Award. In 2018 he was named to SME’s 30 Under 30 list, and in 2019 received the SME Barbara M. Fossum Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award.

Shao earned his PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan in 2016 and worked as a postdoctoral researcher there before joining MechSE in August 2016. He leads the Automation and Digital Manufacturing Lab.