• Professor, Mechanical Engineering
  • Halliburton Chair in Engineering Professor
  • Affiliated Faculty, Materials Science and Engineering
  • Member, National Academy of Engineering
Dr. Ali Erdemir

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., Materials Science and Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology — 1986
  • M.S., Materials Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology — 1982
  • B.S., Metallurgy, Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul — 1977

Research Interests

  • Erdemir is a renowned scholar whose leadership and scientific discoveries have had major impacts on tribology, surface engineering, materials science and mechanical engineering fields. Erdemir’s current research focuses on bridging scientific principles with engineering innovations towards the development of new materials, coatings, and lubricants for a broad range of cross-cutting applications in manufacturing, transportation (including E-mobility) and other energy conversion and utilization systems where further increases in efficiency, reliability, and environmental sustainability are of primary objectives. His group specifically strives to unravel key/underlying mechanisms that control friction, wear and lubrication at the most fundamental levels and develop more advanced surface technologies and lubricant chemistries providing superlubricity and/or super high-hardness as well as extreme resistance to wear, corrosion, fatigue and other types of degradations under harsh operational and environmental conditions. In one of our latest activities with our team members, we upcycle plastic wastes into lubricating oils in a green and continuously recyclable manner and hence reduce their adverse environmental impacts; in another, we design and manufacture new materials, coatings, and lubricants for safety, efficiency, and reliability in electric vehicle applications.

Awards & Honors

  • 2023 Tribochemistry Award, Japanese Tribology Society (JAST)
  • 2022 Elected Member, European Academy of Sciences and Arts
  • 2021 Elected Member, World Academy of Ceramics
  • 2021 Elected Member, The Science Academy -Turkey
  • 2020 Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers International Award
  • 2020 Society of Japanese Tribologists Distinguished Tribologist Award
  • 2020 Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineer’s Honorary Membership
  • 2019 National Academy of Engineering member
  • 2017-2022 President, International Tribology Council
  • 2016 President, Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers
  • 2015 Mayo D. Hersey Award, American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • 2015, 2012, 2009, 2003, 1998 and 1991 R&D-100 Awards, R&D Magazine
  • 2013-2022, Adjunct Professor, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA
  • 2011 Medal of Distinguished Performance at Argonne National Laboratory
  • 2002 and 1992 Al Sonntag Award, Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers
  • 2000 Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • 1999 Director’s Award, Argonne National Laboratory
  • 1998 Edmond E. Bisson Award, Society of Tribologist and Lubrication Engineers
  • Fellow of ASME, AAAS, STLE, AVS, and ASM-International
  • 34 U.S. Patents

Selected Publications

  • Progress in Superlubricity Across Different Media and Material Systems—A Review”, (DOI:10.3389/fmech.2022.908497)
  • Achieving ultralow friction and wear by tribocatalysis: enabled by in-operando formation of nanocarbon films”, (https://doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.1c08170)
  • Synthetic lubricants derived from plastic waste and their tribological performance”, (https://doi.org/10.1002/cssc.202100912)
  • Tribochemical conversion of methane to graphene and other carbon nanostructures: implications for friction and wear”, (https://doi.org/10.1021/acsanm.0c01527)
  • Carbon-based tribofilms from lubricating oils” (https://doi.org/10.1038/nature18948)