Want to learn more about ACRC?  Contact any member of our core team.

Diran Apelian

Diran Apelian Distinguished Professor of Materials Science and Engineering Chief Strategy Officer, Samueli School of Engineering

Director, ACRC UCI, dapelian@uci.edu B.S., Drexel University, 1968; Sc.D., MIT, 1972

Apelian is a Fellow of TMS, ASM, and APMI; he is a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), National Academy of Inventors (NAI), the European Academy of Sciences, and the Armenian Academy of Sciences. Prior to joining UCI, Apelian was at WPI where he served as Provost and founded the Metal Processing Institute. He has over 700 publications to his credit, and 21 patents; and serves on several technical, corporate and editorial boards. During 2008/2009, he served as President of TMS. He served as Chair of the ASM Educational Foundation Board of Trustees (2016-2018).

Apelian’s research focus is materials processing, specifically in four distinct domains: alloy development; solidification processing; materials recovery, reuse, and recycling; and machine learning/deep learning in materials processing. He is credited with pioneering work in various areas of solidification processing, metal processing, powder metallurgy and digital manufacturing. He is the Founding Editor of the Journal of Sustainable Metallurgy. www.mindyourmetal.com



Carl Soderhjelm

Associate Director, ACRC
Assistant Research Scientist at UCI
M.S., Engineering Nanoscience, Lund University, 2013
PhD., Materials Science & Engineering, WPI

Dr. Soderhjelm received his PhD from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and continued his research for the Advanced Casting Research Center. As a Postdoctoral researcher he worked on particulate reinforcement of aluminum alloys, as well as novel metal additive manufacturing process development. His current research for ACRC is focused on processing semi-solid and liquid metals, as well as incorporation of additive manufacturing into the aluminum die casting industry.

Alan A. Luo

Alan A. Luo is Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Integrated Systems Engineering at The Ohio State University (OSU) in Columbus, OH. He is also Director of ACRC OSU and OSU Lightweight Materials and Manufacturing Research Laboratory. luo.445@osu.edu.

Luo is a Fellow of The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS), American Society of Metals (ASM) and Society for Automotive Engineers (SAE). Prior to joining OSU in 2013, he was a GM Technical Fellow at General Motors Research and Development Center (Warren, MI) with 20 years of industrial experience. He has 21 patents and more than 340 technical publications on advanced materials and manufacturing. Professor Luo has received many awards including TMS Bruce Chalmers Award, Light Metals Technology Award and Research to Industrial Practice Award, ACRC Merton Flemings Award for Scientific Achievements, General Motors John Campbell Awards and Charles McCuen Awards, as well as several best paper awards and application awards from American Foundry Society (AFS) and North American Die Casting Association (NADCA).

Luo’s research areas include lightweight materials (aluminum, magnesium, titanium and high-entropy alloys, bio-metals, superwood, and nanocomposites), advanced and sustainable manufacturing processes (casting, forming, additive manufacturing, and multi-material manufacturing), and Integrated computational materials engineering (ICME). https://mse.osu.edu/people/luo.445.


At-Large Member

Kevin Anderson
Advanced Casting Research Center Mercury Marine
W6250 Pioneer Road
Fond du Lac, WI 54935

Dr. Anderson is presently a Mercury Fellow for Mercury Marine in Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin. Dr. Anderson has extensive research and hands – on experience with numerous materials, but most notably aluminum alloys. Dr. Anderson has worked with the vast majority of product forms such as castings, plate, sheet, forgings, and extrusions. Dr. Anderson holds 20 United States patents, and many international patents. The most significant and commercially valuable patents are in the areas of aluminum alloy development in both cast and wrought alloys, aluminum temper development for corrosion resistance, heat treatment of aluminum alloys, restoration process for cast surfaces, and discontinuously reinforced aluminum matrix composites by powder metallurgy. He has taught “Aluminum and It’s Alloys” for ASM since 1999.


  Affiliated Faculty

Ramin Bostanabad

Dr. Ramin Bostanabad received his Ph.D. from Northwestern University in February 2019. He joined the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UCI in September 2019 and founded the Probabilistic Modeling and Analysis of Complex Systems (PMACS) laboratory. At PMACS lab, Dr. Bostanabad’s group develops computational framework and tools for analyzing and designing complex systems such as advanced manufacturing processes and multiscale materials. These contributions are on the interface of statistics, machine learning, and mechanics. Recent projects include data-driven microstructure characterization, multi-scale materials modeling with deep learning and random processes, inverse system identification with hierarchical evolutionary programming, and assimilation of multiple data sources with Bayesian statistics.

Edward D. Herderick

Dr. Edward D. Herderick is the Director of Additive Manufacturing at The Ohio State University Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence (CDME). Ed’s passion is expanding the use of Additive Manufacturing in transformational applications. His role at OSU is to grow AM activities across campus in collaboration with industry, government, and academic partners.  The OSU CDME has extensive capabilities including industrial metal, ceramic, polymer and bioprinting and is leading R&D across many dimensions toward growing the AM ecosystem.  In addition to his OSU work, Ed also serves on the executive committee for America Makes.  He has held leadership roles at GE, Avon Lake startup rp+m, and Columbus based Edison Welding Institute.

Xiaochun Li

Professor Xiaochun Li is the Raytheon Endowed Chair in Manufacturing Engineering in the Departments of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering & Materials Science and Engineering at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He is also the founder of MetaLi LLC (www.metaliusa.com) and he currently serves as the Chief Technology Officer for the Western Regional Smart Manufacturing Center, USA Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute. He received his Ph.D. at Stanford University in 2001. He is a holder of multiple best paper awards and patents, including more than 10 of those licensed by industry. Dr. Li received National Science Foundation CAREER award in 2002, Jiri Tlusty Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award from Society of Manufacturing Engineers in 2003, and 2008 Howard F. Taylor Award from American Foundry Society (AFS). Dr. Li was previously a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Program at University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) from 2001 to 2013. He served as the Director of Nano-Engineered Materials Processing Center (NEMPC) at UW-Madison between 2009 and 2013. Dr. Li has been elected Fellows in American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the International Society for Nanomanufacturing. His research interests are in solidification processing and practical applications of nanotechnology enabled metallurgy, especially nanoparticle dispersion, nanoparticle-metal interaction, and control of microstructures to create new processing/manufacturing space while pushing the performance envelope of metals in order to meet the energy and sustainability challenges in today’s society.

Jenifer Locke

Jenifer Locke received her BA in Physics from Wittenberg University in Springfield, OH. She then worked for a year at AFRL prior to pursuing her Ph.D. in MSE at the University of Virginia. At AFRL, Jen studied glass formability in Al-Ni-RE (rare earth) bulk metallic glasses. At the University of Virginia, Jen performed research on corrosion fatigue of age-hardenable Al alloys. Specifically, she examined the ability of specific microstructures to self-inhibit the deleterious effects of a corrosive environment or the ability of chemical inhibitors to produce passivity to inhibit the deleterious effects of a corrosive environment. After earning her Ph.D., Jen worked for three years in research and development at Alcoa, where she focused on corrosion and environment-assisted cracking of aerospace and automotive Al alloys. Professor Locke also began work in alloy development and thermo-mechanical processing at Alcoa. She came to The Ohio State University in January 2015 and primarily performs research in corrosion and environment-assisted cracking.

Michael Mills

Professor Mills earned his PhD degree in Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford University in 1985.  After a two-year research associate appointment at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale-Lausanne, Switzerland, and a six-year appointment as Senior Member of Technical Staff at Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, he joined the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the Ohio State University in 1994.  Mills was promoted to Professor in 2000 and was appointed as the McDougal Professor of Engineering in 2004.  Since 2019, he has been serving as Chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at OSU (he was Interim Chair in 2014-2015).  Mills and his group are developing new insights into the mechanical behavior of several important metallurgical systems through a detailed understanding of elementary deformation mechanisms.  Recent research has included studies of deformation behavior in commercial titanium and zirconium alloys, strengthening mechanisms in aluminum alloys and novel ferritic steels, dislocation processes and microstructure development in nickel-based superalloys, and deformation mechanisms in high entropy alloys.  This understanding forms the foundation for models of behavior that have significant basic science content and are also relevant to industrial applications through the development of Integrated Computational Materials Engineering tools.  He is a Fellow of the American Society for Metals, was inducted as Fellow of TMS in 2015, and has received the Oleg D. Sherby Award from TMS for research in high temperature materials. Mills received the Alexander Von Humboldt Research Fellowship in 1996 and in 2019 he received the Alexander von Humboldt Research Award.  In 2021, he was awarded the Heyn Medal of Honor from the DGM (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Materialkunde) for achievements in the field of materials science and engineering, and he holds honorary doctorate from the Ruhr University, Bochum, which was awarded in March 2022.

Daniel R. Mumm

Associate Professor, Materials Science and Engineering

University of California, Irvine


B.S. University of Minnesota, 1988

Ph.D. Northwestern University, 1994

Daniel Mumm is an associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of California, Irvine. Prof. Mumm received his B.S. degree in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Minnesota in 1988, and his Ph.D. degree also in Materials Science and Engineering from Northwestern University in 1994. He subsequently held post-doctoral or research positions at the Rockwell International Science Center, Harvard University, and Princeton University (Princeton Materials Institute) before joining UC Irvine in 2003. His research efforts aim to elucidate processing-structure-property relationships in structural and functional materials systems utilized in aggressive/extreme environments, and the active thermomechanical and thermochemical mechanisms controlling performance and service lifetime. Current research activities include: alloy design for extreme environments; mechanisms controlling the performance and failure of advanced coatings used in gas turbine systems; novel additive manufacturing of alloys and coatings (including cold-spray deposition); mechanisms controlling oxidation and hot-corrosion of propulsion and power generation system hot-section materials; synthesis and characterization of energy storage materials; and fundamental studies of interfacial behavior in electrochemical materials systems. His research leverages controlled exposures to simulated service environments, advanced microscopy, spectroscopy and microanalysis approaches, thermo-mechanical testing and characterization and computational assessments of the underpinning thermodynamics and kinetics controlling evolution of materials.

Randy Paffenroth

Associate Professor of Mathematical Sciences,

Associate Professor of Computer Science, and

Associate Professor of Data Science

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Dr. Paffenroth graduated from Boston University with degrees in both mathematics and computer science and he was awarded his Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from the University of Maryland in June of 1999. After attaining his Ph.D., Dr. Paffenroth spent seven years as a Staff Scientist in Applied and Computational Mathematics at the California Institute of Technology. In 2006, he joined Numerica Corporation where he held the position of Computational Scientist and Program Director. Dr. Paffenroth is currently an Associate Professor of Mathematical Sciences, Associate Professor of Computer Science, and Associate Professor of Data Science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. His current technical interests include machine learning, signal processing, large-scale data analytics, compressed sensing, and the interaction between mathematics, computer science, and software engineering. Applications of Dr. Paffenroth’s work include cyber-defense, chemical sensor processing, and material science, and his work has been supported by the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC), the MITRE corporation, BBN/Raytheon, and other funding agencies.

Xiaoqing Pan

Henry Samueli Endowed Chair in Engineering

Professor, Materials Science and Engineering

Professor, Physics & Astronomy

Director, Irvine Materials Research Institute (IMRI)

Director, Center for Complex Active Materials (CCAM), an NSF MRSEC

University of California, Irvine (UCI)


B.S., Nanjing University, China, 1982; PhD, Universität des Saarlandes, Germany, 1991

Pan is widely recognized for his pioneering development and applications of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) methods to study the structure and dynamic behaviors of materials with atomic resolution under controlled conditions or environments. His interest focuses on understanding the atomic-scale structure-property relationships of advanced materials, especially oxide heterostructures, ferroelectrics/multiferroics, catalysts and two-dimensional (2D) functional materials. His work has led to the discoveries of new materials and novel functionalities in many technologically important materials. More recently, his group has made critical contributions to electron microscopy and materials science in the development of novel four-dimensional scanning transmission electron microscopy and momentum-resolved vibrational electron microscopy. He received the National Science Foundation’s CAREER Award and the Chinese NSF’s Outstanding Young Investigator Award. He is elected Fellows of the American Ceramic Society, American Physical Society, Microscopy Society of America, and the Materials Research Society. He has published over 400 peer-reviewed scientific papers in high impact factor journals including Nature, Science, and Nature Materials. His publications have been highly cited. Pan is currently the Henry Samueli Endowed Chair in Engineering, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and Professor of Physics & Astronomy at UCI. He is also the inaugural Director of the Irvine Materials Research Institute (IMRI), and founding Director of the Center for Complex Active Materials (CCAM – an NSF MRSEC). He was a Professor and the Richard F. and Eleanor A. Towner Endowed Chair of Engineering, and Director of Electron Microbeam Analysis Laboratory at the University of Michigan before joining UCI.

Lorenzo Valdevit
Professor, Materials Science and Engineering
Director, Institute for Design and Manufacturing Innovation
University of California, Irvine
M.S., Materials Engineering, University of Trieste, Italy, 2000
Ph.D., Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University, 2005

Lorenzo Valdevit is a Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of California, Irvine, and the inaugural director of the Institute for Design and Manufacturing Innovation (IDMI) in the School of Engineering. The overarching goal of IDMI is to promote UCI’s prominence in the area of advanced manufacturing, through a combination of research, education and outreach to industry and the community. Prof. Valdevit received his MS degree (Laurea) in Materials Engineering from the University of Trieste, Italy (in 2000) and his PhD degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University (in 2005). His primary research goal is the modeling, optimal design, additive manufacturing and experimental characterization of architected materials with superior combination of properties.

Jason M. Walker

Dr. Jason M. Walker is the Director of Materials Innovation at The Ohio State University’s Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence (CDME). His research interests include the development and application of additive tooling for metal castings, novel gating and risering methods, process simulation, and the instrumentation of molds for in situ data collection. Dr. Walker serves on several AFS Technical Committees in the Additive Manufacturing Division (3D Sand Printing; Hard Tooling; Testing & Specifications) and Molding Division (Investment Casting). He is a past-Chair of the AM Expendable Patterns Committee. He previously served as an assistant professor of Manufacturing Engineering at Youngstown State University where he was the founding faculty advisor and FEF Key Professor of the YSU AFS Student Chapter.





What Members Say

“Being a member of ACRC is not only prestigious, it’s personal. It serves as the perfect intersection of “university to industry”, allowing me to dream with the curiosity and open mindedness of a student, while staying grounded with experience and wisdom. In Hinduism, there are four stages of life: Brahmacharya (student), Grihastha (householder), Vanaprastha (retired), and Sannyasa (renunciation). I feel like I have come full circle – learning (Brahmacharya), earning (Grihastha), and now reflecting (toggling between the first three stages with the students and peers at ACRC). This reflection has turned my experience into insight. If there is one thing I have learned along the path of “life”, it is that while we may strive for mastery, mastery is not a destination but a journey; and we, the eternal students, are the protagonists on this path.”
Vijay Alreja
CEO, VJ Group