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Dazhong Wu and his team are transforming the way manufacturers use artificial intelligence to increase productivity and reduce costs.

At his Additive Manufacturing and Intelligent Systems Lab at UCF, they work to develop real-time process monitoring solutions and machine learning models to prevent defects and errors as well as reveal complex process-structure-property relationships in additive manufacturing.

Additive manufacturing constructs 3D objects layer by layer. For example, 3D printing may be considered an additive manufacturing process.

Wu is working to study the convergence of additive manufacturing and artificial intelligence to make more intelligent and efficient systems that will ultimately make a difference in people’s lives.

“I hope to significantly improve efficiency, increase productivity, as well as reduce costs by integrating artificial intelligence, cloud computing and sensors with manufacturing machines and equipment,” he says.

Wu’s aspirations are even more expansive. He’s also looking to accelerate economic growth for the industry.

“Manufacturing is essential to the economy,” he says. “Every dollar spent on manufacturing adds $2.74 to the U.S. economy, which is the highest multiplier effect of any economic sector.”

Wu is particularly pleased of the great technical accomplishments he and his team have achieved. The integration of artificial intelligence into manufacturing processes and systems is an aspect of his manufacturing research that sets him apart from others in his field.

“I am very proud that my team developed novel data-driven predictive modeling techniques for predicting the complex mechanical behavior of additively manufactured materials such as composites and lattices,” he says. “We are also one of the first research groups that applied deep learning and physics-informed machine learning to solve quality control and process monitoring problems in the field of manufacturing,”

Since joining UCF in 2017, Wu has received great recognition in his emerging field. In 2021, he was honored as one of the 20 Most Influential Academics in Smart Manufacturing by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and in 2023 was recognized as one of the top 2% of the most cited scientists in his field, as identified by Stanford University.

Earning a 2024 Reach for the Stars award reminds Wu of the support UCF provides its promising young researchers.

“UCF is an academic leader in numerous fields such as mechanical and aerospace engineering,” he says. “I feel honored and privileged to be a recipient of the Reach for the Stars award. It’s also made me look back at what my team achieved, as well as reflect on how my research can make bigger societal impacts.”