A University of Michigan professor and leader has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) – an honor considered one of the field’s highest.
Jack Hu is U-M’s interim vice president for research. He is also the J. Reid and Polly Anderson Professor of Manufacturing who holds appointments in mechanical engineering and industrial and operations engineering.
The academy commended Hu, a manufacturing systems researcher and long collaborator with the auto industry, for developing new ways to predict and find the root causes of product quality variation in assembly systems.
“Traditional assembly lines are very long and quite complex,” Hu said. “When a quality problem occurs at the end of the line, we need to figure out what went wrong. My contribution is to have developed methods to systematically identify the location in the assembly line and the root causes of the quality variation.”
General Motors and Chrysler use the methods in several plants.
More recently, Hu and his research group devised methods for monitoring quality in automotive lithium ion battery assembly and manufacturing. The work is helping to guarantee the assembly quality of the Chevrolet Volt’s battery.
Hu is one of 67 new U.S. and 12 foreign NAE members. His election brings U-M’s total active members to 28.
“It is a great honor indeed to be elected a member of the NAE,” Hu said. “This is a reflection of the quality of the faculty and research at the University of Michigan.”
The academy celebrates those who have made outstanding contributions to engineering research, practice, or education. Contributions could include pioneering new fields, advancing traditional fields or implementing innovative approaches to engineering education.