Dr. S. Soundarapandian


Dr. Soundarapandian did his schooling and college at Madurai, India and worked as a teacher there until 2005, and then took a R&D position (2005–2006) with Premier Evolvics, Coimbatore, India. He spent 18 months (2006–2007) in Sweden and lived nearly 6 years in United States for higher study and postdoctoral work. Presently, he is associated with Indian Institute of Technology Madras (, Chennai, India.

Dr. Soundarapandian has been always curious and inspired to explore new inventions and state-of-the-art technologies. He has diverse academic background: undergraduate in mechanical engineering (1995), Thiagarajar College of Engineering (TCE), Madurai (, India; two masters, one in production engineering (1999), TCE and the other one in mathematical modeling and simulation (2007), Blekinge Institute of Technology (BTH), Karlskrona (, Sweden; Ph.D. in mechanical engineering (2010), Southern Methodist University (SMU), Dallas, TX (, USA; Postdoctoral research fellow in design of advanced materials and rapid manufacturing technologies (2011), SMU (; and Postdoctoral research fellow in laser based surface engineering for advanced materials and next generation biomaterials (2012), University of North Texas (UNT), Denton, TX (, USA .

His intention is to apply university lead research and development works in advanced materials and rapid manufacturing technologies (micro and nanomanufacturing). He has acquired multi-versatile research skills in surface treatment, metal forming, joining, brazing, micro-machining, and additive/rapid prototyping of similar or dissimilar metals (Al, Steel, Ti, Cu, Mg) and functionally gradient materials (Tungsten/ Nickel/Al Carbides, Oxides). In particular, he has trained in laser-based surface engineering (LSE) includes studying and synthesis of ferrous and non-ferrous alloys, ceramics, polymers, and composites. He is also interested in design, development and synthesis of high temperature superalloys, energy harvesting materials, and bio-mimicking structural materials (Mg, Ca/P). Especially, he has significant experience in mathematical coupled modeling (experimental–thermal –kinetic –parameter optimization) of LSE, micro-fabrication of hard and brittle (Al2O3, MgO) and highly reflective materials (Glass, Silicon) for automotive, medical, fuel cells, and defense applications. In addition, he has been trained to fabricate functionally gradient porosity (FGM) bio-adaptable implants (hip, knee, shoulder).

His master’s thesis for the degree in production engineering entitled “Machine vision strategy to detect in near cylindrical components” was focused on the development of a machine vision system (CCD camera, structured light source, and control device) with virtual instrumentation for locating, orienting, and mating of identical cylindrical spatial (missile) components. The results were used in a feasibility report prepared by TCE to enable a grant from the defense research development laboratory (DRDL), India for furthering the technology. His second master’s thesis for the degree in mathematical modeling and simulation entitled “Diagnosing diseases through microscopic images of blood cells by statistical pattern recognition” was aimed at development of a cost-effective, fast and reliable method for automatically diagnosing diseases through the digitized microscopic images of blood cells. The method was clinically tested and the results were positive and furthering the technology to the medical industry needs.

His Ph.D. work “Thermo-kinetic modeling and experimental investigations of laser surface modification processes by using high power direct diode laser (” was focused on the development of an industrial usage technology that can spatially produce superior intrinsic and extrinsic materials properties by laser radiation. This laser surface treatment technology uses the concept of heating by laser and self-quenching by the materials itself to obtain a localized superior wear, corrosion, heat, and fatigue resistance properties. A heat management thermo-kinetic model was designed and developed to predict the heat transfer phenomena with heat resistance surface properties for precisely fabricating high-value parts (turbine blade, gear, piston). A cost-effective process model was designed and tested to determine the necessary processing parameters for obtaining the specified mechanical and surface properties of high value parts. His Ph.D. research work has enabled SMU to acquire a latest state-of-the-art direct diode laser ( for furthering the direct diode technology.

During 1999 to 2005, he had given an opportunity to work as a faculty cum in-charge in mechanical engineering department at SACS MAVMM Engineering College, Madurai, India. He was in-charge of design, development, and execution of nearly 10 laboratories and workshops related to mechanical sciences. He has also involved the design, development, and implementation of value-added courses (CAD/CAM, hardware training and networking) to undergraduate engineering students. He has taught the following engineering courses: industrial robotics, mechatronics, visual programming, statics and dynamics, solid mechanics, operations research, manufacturing processes, machine drawing, CAD/CAM, and professional ethics. He has guided some academic projects at undergraduate (7) and graduate (3) levels. The research work at the college resulted in various projects and publications.

At Premier Evolvics, as a R&D engineer, he successfully integrated, tested and installed optical/laser-based vision systems for the inspection of printed circuit boards, fastener, and ring traveler. The key features of the system included algorithms for optical spatial chain encoding and pattern recognition, instrumentation facility for automatic calibration, diagnosis, inspection, and technical documentation.

In his postdoctoral fellowship at SMU, he was in-charge of leading researchers, and has cleared a number of cutting-edge projects in advanced design of materials and rapid manufacturing technologies for leading North America’s automotive, aerospace, defense, gas and oil, and energy industries. He has developed a cost-effective industrial usage thin film micro/nano coating technology (polymer on metals) for repairing or fabrication of micro/larger non-homogeneous industrial structures (aircraft, ship, missile, nuclear decommissioning parts). This technology has high market potential for the fabrication of layer by layer micro/macro precision structures which are very difficult to obtain by conventional means. A novel cost-effective heat balanced method and setup was designed, developed, and tested to obtain a defect-free thin-film micro/nano coating process. This technology is environmental friendly which saves money, materials, and time.

At UNT, Dr. Soundarapandian was extensively involved in various NSF (National Science Foundation) and industrially-funded research projects, international university collaborative research programs, along with supervision of graduate students (Masters and PhD programs). He has written a book chapter in “Laser Surface Hardening” for ASM handbook, and published numerous papers in journals and conferences. He has been widely involved the design and development of in-situ techniques (temperature, thermal image, acoustics signals) for the prediction of surface phenomena which has resulted in new commercial applications. Tailoring alumina’s surface topography, amorphous coatings (Fe-Cr-Mo-Y-C-B on Steels), solid solution strengthening of aluminum (Al-Mo, Al-Ta), site-specific nano-crystallization (Fe-Si-B alloy), hybrid biocoating (Ca-P on Mg) have resulted in enhanced structural and functional properties. He is member of ASME, TMS, ASM, AIST, ACerS, and serves as reviewer of Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance, Surface and Coatings Technology.

As a teacher and researcher, he will be bringing his 13 years’ experience in teaching, industry and research to train and educate the future engineers and researchers to arrive niche and quick on-time solutions to the challenging practical issues in advanced materials and rapid manufacturing technologies. His research results and inventions have played an important role in attracting research grants from the industries and Government agencies, development of new projects, and establishment of research facilities. He is working to develop the state-of-the art research facilities in laser surface technology at IITM, these facilities will be used for conducting research works as well as for design and synthesis of structural and biomaterials.