The Society of Manufacturing Engineers has elected University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Professor Pradeep Rohatgi to the SME Class of Fellows. The citation for this award is for his “world leadership in research, education, institution building, and development of manufacturing technology of cast metal matrix composites which are widely manufactured and used by industry.” This award is given to those who have made outstanding contributions to the manufacturing profession, according to the organization.
Rohatgi received a bachelor’s degree in metallurgical engineering in 1961 from Banaras Hindu University and a doctoral degree in metallurgy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1964. He worked as a research scientist at the Merica Research Lab of the International Nickel Co., where he first synthesized metal matrix composites, and then at the Bethlehem Steel Research Laboratory. He was a full professor for a period of five years at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and visiting faculty at the Indian Institute of Technology.
He has served as the chief executive officer and founder/director of two research laboratories of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. In India, Rohatgi served as a founder/director of two large CSIR national laboratories, the National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (Trivandrum) and the Advanced Materials and Processes Research Institute (Bhopal) for the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. These were research and advanced training institutions with large contingents of scientific and administrative staff, carried out all functions of recruiting, budget control and personnel management. More recently, Rohatgi founded the Center for Advanced Materials Manufacture and the Center for Composite Materials in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee College of Engineering and Applied Science.
Rohatgi has 290 research papers published in materials and mechanical engineering in refereed research publications, an additional 170 research papers in Materials Engineering in Proceedings, many of which were refereed, and an additional 70 papers have been written in technology forecasting, materials manufacturing policy and educational policy in journals and proceedings.
Rohatgi is a pioneer and world leader in research on the manufacturing of new metal matrix composites. He has characterized their physical, mechanical and tribological properties, and conducted technology and product development that resulted in the widespread use and manufacture of these composites in the transportation sector, electromechanical machinery, and thermal management applications. The composite materials developed by him are widely manufactured and used as pistons, liners, brake rotors, brake drums, brake calipers, engine pulleys, computer thermal management parts and recreational equipment. He developed the structure-processing-property-performance relationships of these composites and demonstrated their unique physical, mechanical and tribophysical properties, setting the framework for research and development of the foundry manufacture of metal matrix composites.
Rohatgi has served on several committees of government in India and the U.S. government, and promotes collaboration between manufacturing industries in United States and India.
He has also been a pioneer in starting materials policy research for the developing world, including India. He has written and edited several books and articles on technology forecasting and technology advancement to examine the interactions between emerging materials technologies and societies. He has been a consultant to the World Bank and United Nations, including UNESCO, UNU, UNIDO and UNEP, and has prepared materials policy reports for different world regions.