Artificially Intelligent Manufacturing (AIM)


Advanced materials and manufacturing are important pillars and drivers of today’s economy. They have made consumer devices like TVs and computers ubiquitous by enabling cheap mass production of reliable products, and enabled industrial applications on a scale not seen before. However, designing new materials is a slow and laborious process, requiring significant investments in capital and labor.

Recent advances in artificial intelligence allow to improve and speed up this process. In particular, machine learning techniques can replace expensive and time-consuming laboratory processes and computational simulations to quickly and reliably predict how to create materials with desired properties and how materials will behave in specific circumstances. So-called surrogate models learn how properties of materials and experimental parameters relate to experimental results.

AIM applies these techniques to materials engineering and manufacturing to reduce cost and improve performance. The center merges synergistic expertise at the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences in materials development, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, and computer science for the development of powerful methods to design and model the behavior of advanced materials and manufacture advanced devices.


Graphene Oxide Film Graphitization via Laser Patterning

Graphene oxide can be treated with lasers to create patterns of conducting carbon within a surrounding environment of insulating materials. This allows to create nano-scale circuits in thin sheets of materials, enabling next-generation devices. Laser patterning is a complex process that requires precise real-time control to achieve the desired results. We apply techniques from artificial intelligence to achieve the necessary precise control.

Composite Failure Prediction

Determining the limits of forces that can be applied to composite materials before they break is an important problem in engineering and manufacturing. The field has developed a number of failure criteria, which allow to describe those limits in a closed functional form, so called failure envelopes. However, these functional forms are not very flexible, and require significant experimentation with new materials to be determined. We apply machine learning techniques for more flexible failure envelopes and to predict them based on very little data for new materials.

Nature-Inspired Impact-Resistant Materials sample

Nature-Inspired Impact-Resistant Materials

Composite microstructures observed in nature serve as templates for the development of new synthetic materials. However, it has proven difficult to reproduce the properties found in natural materials due to the interaction of intricate structures at varying length scales. Rather than attempting to replicate these materials (biomimetics), the focus of this work is to use a bio-inspired pattern generation algorithm (the Gray-Scott model), optimized by Bayesian methods from Artificial Intelligence, to design new materials with high energy absorption properties.



AIM Center Awarded NASA Grant for Manufacturing Flexible Electronics

Optical profilometer image of a patterned spot

Center PIs Johnson, Kotthoff, and Aidhy have been awarded a $750,000 grant from NASA EPSCoR to investigate ways of manufacturing flexbile electronics in space. The grant builds on expertise developed in the center on combining machine learning with advanced materials and manufacturing and will see the PIs collaborate with researchers at NASA Ames over three years to develop approaches for manufacturing electronics with low power and resource requirements that can be used for example aboard the International Space Station.

More information is available in a UW press release. The grant was also covered in an NPR news item.


AIM workshop at Materials Science and Engineering Symposium

The AIM center organized a workshop on AI and advanced manufacturing, co-located with the 2019 University of Wyoming Materials Science and Engineering Symposium. Invited speakers included David Estrada (Boise State University) and Kamal Choudhary (National Institute of Standards and Technology). In addition, AIM PIs and associated researchers presented the latest results on applying state-of-the-art AI to laser-induced graphene production, atomistic modeling, and porous media modeling.

The workshop featured a hands-on session where participants were able to use state-of-the-art machine learning modeling to optimize manufacturing processes themselves, based on real data and approaches developed by the center PIs. This was the first exposure to AI techniques for many of the approximately 25 participants, giving them an idea of the power of the approach and how to apply it in their own research.

AIM workshop at materials science and engineering symposium






  • Hud Wahab


  • Faisal Bhuiyan
  • Vivek Jain
  • Gaurav Raj
  • Alex Tyrrell
  • Geoffrey Buck
  • Sarah Hankins
  • Sourin Dey


Lars Kotthoff,