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Zhili Feng

  • Associate Professor
  • 865-576-3797


Dr. Zhili Feng leads the Materials Joining Team, and is a Distinguished R&D Staff of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he manages 10 scientists and supporting staff conducting both fundamental and applied R&D and technology innovations for diverse interdisciplinary subjects related to materials joining and allied materials manufacturing processes, with an annual R&D budget of $15 millions. He is also a Joint Faculty of University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

With over 25 years R&D experience, Dr. Feng has proven record in developing and leading major multi-million-dollar R&D programs to advance materials joining and manufacturing science and technologies for automotive, nuclear energy, fossil energy, hydrogen energy, and defense applications. Over the past decade, Dr. Feng has been involved extensively in US DOE Vehicle Technologies Office’s auto-body structure lightweighting programs, serving as PI on a number of materials joining technology development projects with cumulative funding over $8 million.

A Fellow of American Welding Society and an internationally known researcher, Dr. Zhili Feng’s research covers various aspects of thermal-mechanical-metallurgical behaviors of materials in materials joining. He has made seminal contributions in several important areas such as integrated computational welding engineering (ICWE), proactive weld residual stress control, innovations in material joining including friction stir welding/processing and solid state dissimilar material joining, and application of advanced neutron and synchrotron scattering tools to study the fundamentals of weld microstructure evolution and effects on weld properties and performance of welded structures.

Dr. Feng has broad interactions with industry, and demonstrated experience in solving critical industry problems. In 2015, he received special recognition from Dr. David Danielson, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy, for his leadership in developing technology solutions to use advanced high-strength steels in auto-body components. Dr. Feng has over 200 publications and 6 patents.