Prof. Pilla’s Profile

Dr. Srikanth Pilla is the Robert Patrick Jenkins endowed professor and Dean’s faculty fellow of automotive engineering at Clemson University. He is also the founding director of Clemson Composites Center and Director of the Automotive Engineering Certificate Program. Dr. Pilla also holds a joint appointment in the department of materials science and engineering and is a faculty affiliate at the Center for Optical Materials Science and Engg. Technologies and a fellow of the Wood Utilization + Design Institute at Clemson University.

Pilla earned his doctorate in mechanical engg. from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a postdoctoral training from Stanford University. Prior to joining Clemson, Pilla worked as an Asst. Scientist at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Pilla also spent time in industry having worked at SC Johnson and SuGanit Biorenewables as R&D scientist. Pilla serves as a materials and manufacturing consultant to several industries including OEMs such as BMW, Honda, Firestone.

Pilla’s research interests are in the fundamentals and applications of sustainable and lightweight functional materials and manufacturing. Encompassing the “Materials Genome Initiative” and “Advanced Manufacturing Partnership”, Pilla’s work aims to create a crosscutting paradigm at the interface of polymer chemistry, polymer physics, energy resources, materials engineering, manufacturing science, and computational theories. His discoveries and innovations have been published in a wide variety of journals. He has co-authored over 100 widely cited, peer-reviewed archival publications. With a H-index of 33, Pilla’s work is highly cited with a citation count of over 3700. He edited the world’s leading handbook in bioplastics and biocomposites and four SAE-Progress in Technology Series books. His research is supported by NSF, DOE, USDA, and NASA, besides several industries including automotive OEMs, and their tiered suppliers. His research has created about $13.78M of funding.

Pilla is highly active in plastics, composites and automotive professional societies. He has chaired and organized several technical sessions at SAE World Congress and SPE-ANTEC. Pilla currently serves as an Associate Editor of SAE International Journal of Materials and Manufacturing and on the boards of Journal of Renewable Materials, Journal of Composites Science, SPE Injection Molding and Bioplastics Divisions. Dr. Pilla also serves as the faculty advisor to the Clemson University Society of Plastics Engineers student chapter.

Pilla’s efforts in research and engineering education have garnered him numerous awards, including the 2018 SC Governor’s Young Scientist Award, 2018 University of Wisconsin GOLD award, 2017 BEPS Outstanding Young Scientist Award, 2017 Stefan Pischinger Young Industry Leadership Award from SAE Foundation, 2017 SAE Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award, 2017 Forest R. McFarland Award from SAE, and 2016 Robert J. Hocken Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer award from SME. Dr. Pilla was also recognized as USQ’s Eminent Visiting Scholar in 2017. He has supervised over 25 graduate students and postdocs, and over 20 undergraduate students. The results of his student’s research have been recognized with best research awards by the Society of Plastics Engineers, International Symposium on Bioplastics, Ceramics Society, Moldex3D.