Aaditya Lakshmanan awarded Robert M. Caddell Memorial Award for Research

Award goes to PhD students in Aero and ME for their interdisciplinary collaborative research

The Caddell Award is given to a Faculty/Graduate student team which has jointly made a significant contribution to research in the areas of materials and/or manufacturing.

Aerospace Ph.D. candidate Aaditya Lakshmanan is one of two students to be honored with this award for his research in lightweight high strength materials and their applications. Aaditya, who recently successfully defended his dissertation, has worked closely with Mohsen Taheri Andani, a Ph.D. candidate in Mechanical Engineering, to conduct material experiments and computer simulations to explore grain size strengthening to enhance the strength of materials when exposed to extreme environments.

Working together, the two could advance their research and learn from each other. Mohsen experimented with magnesium alloys performing mechanical testing and characterization, while Aaditya ran computer simulations to calibrate and predict the extent of strengthening. 

For his Aerospace research, Aaditya was focused on the need for fuel efficiency resulting from lighter weight materials used in aircraft manufacture and design. Magnesium, an ideal material as it adds little weight but a lot of strength, needs to be combined with other materials to give it the ability to be molded into different shapes.

“I’m very happy to win this award. The Aerospace department has been supportive through all these years. I’d like to thank my collaborator, Mohsen, and our advisors, Veera Sundararaghavan and Amit Misra for their guidance, insights, and continued financial support during our collaboration. This research and award wouldn’t have been possible without their help and support,” comments Aaditya on receiving this honor.

Aaditya recently joined Novelis as a modeling scientist in Atlanta, working in a similar area with aluminum alloys.

“Mohsen and Aaditya have formed an excellent student team across two departments and showed that advances can be made with collaboration that would not be possible by the same researchers working separately, aka “the whole is greater than the sum of parts”. Their research advances metallurgy of the lightest structural metal – Magnesium, by quantitative understanding of grain size strengthening effect at the microstructural level – and has resulted in four high quality journal publications,” comments Sundararaghavan.

About the Robert M. Caddell Memorial Award for Research

Robert M. Caddell was a faculty member and the Graduate Chairman of the Mechanical Engineering Department during his tenure in ME from the 1960s thru 1989. His research was in the area of mechanical behavior of materials, deformation and fracture, metal forming, sheet metal forming, and mechanical properties of polymers. This award is granted to a Faculty/Grad Student team that have jointly made significant contributions to research in materials and/or manufacturing. This award carries an honorarium of $5,000 to be shared among the team members.  Research teams may be nominated by either a faculty member or graduate student. Self nominations are acceptable for this award.