Tauber Executive Committee Member and Herrick Professor of Engineering and Professor of Mechanical Engineering Sridhar Kota will receive the 2017 Distinguished University Innovator Award. The award, sponsored by the University of Michigan Office of Research, honors faculty "who have made important and lasting contributions to society by developing novel ideas and insights through their research, and then translating them to practice."
Dr. Kota is recognized for his pioneering contributions to research on distributed compliance, an approach to engineering design that enables the development of one-piece machines that can generate sophisticated motions or changes in shape without using joints. His company, FlexSys Inc., worked with NASA and the U.S. Air Force to develop aircraft with shape-changing wings that optimize performance and fuel efficiency.
In addition to his engineering research, Dr. Kota has worked to promote innovative thinking through public policy. From 2009-2011, Dr. Kota served as Assistant Director for Advanced Manufacturing in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, championing the establishment of National Manufacturing Institutes. Currently, Dr. Kota is Director of MForesight, a federally funded national consortium dedicated to accelerating technological innovation and aligning R&D opportunities with national priorities to enhance U.S. manufacturing competitiveness.
Professor Kota will receive the 2017 Distinguished University Innovator Award on Monday, May 15 at 4:00 pm at the Stamps Auditorium in the Walgreen Drama Center on the University of Michigan North Campus. Following the ceremony, Dr. Kota will present a lecture on "The Long Road to Technology Commercialization: Getting There is Half the Fun."