With two spin-out companies, over 300 publications, 19 patents and having authored two books, Professor Lin is a world-leading academic, engineer, entrepreneur, and educator. His contribution to the development of metal forming technologies over the past three decades has resulted in new factories, new jobs, and new global opportunities for the UK sheet metal sector.
After graduating from Taiyuan University of Technology in China, Lin studied for his PhD under Professor David Hayhurst at the University of Sheffield. His initial research focussed on leather shoe manufacturing for the cobbling industry. He quickly revealed his natural ability to understand material behaviour and wrote his own Finite Element software to enable his complex materials models to run orders of magnitude faster than had previously been possible. He completed his PhD thesis after just two years and then, focussing on metal plasticity and fracture, continued working within Professor Hayhurst’s group for 8 years, moving in 1992 to the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology.
In 1996 Lin secured a lectureship at the University of Birmingham, and soon after joined the Metal Forming Group where, working together with Professor Trevor Dean, he grew a proficient and successful research team and extended the research within the Group from primarily forging to sheet metal forming, materials and multiscale modelling. While at Birmingham, Lin’s group developed technologies including the HFQ sheet aluminium forming method, new modelling tools for crystal plasticity, and new experimental methods for studying damage mechanics. He joined the council of the Institute of Sheet Metal Engineering and helped promote industrial research, collaborating with companies in the UK, Europe, Japan, India, and China. His work and leadership were recognised by the offer of a chair at Imperial College, London and in 2013 he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.
Having joined Imperial College as Professor and Head of Mechanics of Materials in 2008, he quickly grew his research group to become the largest and most active in the UK studying sheet metal forming. He continued to develop HFQ technology, and in 2012 the work resulted in the formation of his first spin-out company, Impression Technologies Limited, which continues to develop and license Lin’s technology globally.
His blend of industrial process innovation, experimental metallurgical insight and material modelling has resulted in impactful advancements for high-volume sheet metal production that have directly and indirectly contributed to vehicle light-weighting and CO2 reduction. His current work into new forming and extrusion processes, new testing methods, and model development for aluminium, boron steel and new steel grades will continue to deliver tomorrow’s technologies for reducing the environmental impact of transportation, improving safety and reducing manufacturing cost.
Professor Jianguo Lin, Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, is certainly a worthy recipient of ISME’s 75th anniversary Gold Medal Award.
Professor Jianguo Lin, FREng, FIMechE, FIMMM, FISME