Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

New faculty will help keep UT at the forefront of advanced manufacturing research

This fall, the MABE department hired three new faculty members, including a Governor’s Chair, who will be involved in advanced manufacturing and help further establish the University of Tennessee (UT) as leader in this field of research.

Uday Vaidya is the new UT/ORNL (Oak Ridge National Laboratory) Governor’s Chair in Advanced Composites Manufacturing, professor, and Chief Technology Officer for the $259 million dollar Institute for Advanced Composites and Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI).

Vaidya, who comes from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, is very excited to be part of MABE and the opportunities he has in his new role as Governor’s Chair.

“This is a significant opportunity to provide leadership and serve as a bridge between UT, ORNL, industry and academic partners,” said Vaidya.

“I was attracted to the MABE department due to the broad range of faculty interests and ongoing work. The overall focus of the department in a comprehensive advanced manufacturing strategy will help accelerate research and training of next generation students,” he said.

Vaidya’s primary goal is to establish an ecosystem that will position UT as a leader in advanced manufacturing research, training and education.

“The synergy offered by ORNL and the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF) is an integral part of achieving this mission. The UT/ORNL led IACMI offers unique opportunities for exposing our students to state of the art technologies, experiential learning and industry networking,” said Vaidya.

Some of Vaidya’s research interests include advanced composites manufacturing, frontiers of automotive materials and manufacturing, and nondestructive evaluations.

Vaidya is currently dividing his time between UT and MDF and is working with a large group of students who are researching advanced composites.

Chad Duty, who spent the past eleven years at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), has joined MABE as an associate professor.

Duty is excited to be part of MABE and has made a smooth transition into his new academic position.

“The MABE department is a very talented group of researchers and educators leading the way in making UT a top 25 school. I am very excited to join the department as part of a focused strategy in the area of advanced manufacturing, which not only compliments incredible regional capabilities, but also leverages some unique strengths of the university,” said Duty.

One of Duty’s goals at MABE is to help make UT a pioneer in the area of advanced manufacturing by introducing new technologies to the marketplace and educating the next generation workforce. He is currently working on a proposal for UT to become an NSF Engineering Research Center in advanced manufacturing, teaming with other universities to address fundamental challenges in materials, design, and process optimization.

Duty’s research interests include additive manufacturing of polymer and composite structures, focusing on anisotropic mechanical behavior, new material development, melt flow characterization, and optimizing process-structure-property relationships; development of Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) at multi-meter length scales and over 100 lbs/h; and tooling applications for large scale additive manufacturing.

While at ORNL, Duty held positions as group leader of the Deposition Science & Technology Group, senior scientist at the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility, solar program manager, and research scientist for the Materials Science & Technology Division.

Brett Compton was a materials scientist in additive manufacturing at the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Post-doctoral Research Fellow in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Harvard University before joining the MABE department as assistant professor.

Compton is very excited to be part of MABE.

“I think we have a good group that is poised to push the department, college, and university forward. I have been impressed with the excellent MABE staff and the level of support that the department and college offer to new professors,” said Compton.

Compton is looking forward to building a research program around additive manufacturing of hybrid materials and composites.

“There is tremendous opportunity in that space to both answer fundamental questions about how materials behave and to make real and meaningful impact in society with commercially relevant research,” he said.

Working in academics is a comfortable feeling for Compton.

“I’ve spent more time at universities than anywhere else, so I feel at home. It’s great to see all the students and feel the energy and spirit of curiosity they bring,” said Compton.

Compton’s research interests include fabrication of advanced ceramic, metal, polymer, and composite systems via direct 3D methods; establishing the link between processing parameters and mechanical behavior of the resulting materials through mechanical testing and numerical simulation; and developing processing routes to enable a wider range of engineering materials to be utilized with additive manufacturing techniques.

Compton will begin teaching classes in the spring.