Professor I. S. Jawahir, Ph.D.

In recognition of decades of research and advancements in Manufacturing Engineering

We are awarding Professor I. S. Jawahir, Ph.D., because of his pioneering engineering work on sustainable manufacturing processes and his three decades of educating future engineers.

Professor Jawahir was born in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka, and he completed his early education locally. Subsequently, he received a Soviet government scholarship to Moscow, earning his Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. He then returned to Sri Lanka and worked briefly at the National Engineering Research and Development Center. Next, he headed to Australia, where he earned his Ph.D. from the University of New South Wales.

Professor Jawahir is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering, a James F. Hardymon Chair in Manufacturing Systems, and the Founding Director of The Institute for Sustainable Manufacturing at the University of Kentucky in the United States. He has over 450 research publications under his belt. He has been awarded 4 U.S. patents, delivered 72 keynotes at major international conferences, and delivered over 150 presentations in 38 countries. He has directed the research of 23 postdoctoral researchers, 45 PhD graduates, and over 70 MS (thesis) graduates. He has established active international collaboration with 28 universities from 20 countries.

Worldwide recognition has been given to Professor Jawahir’s work on sustainable manufacturing, a process where manufacturers reduce their reliance on virgin materials, lower their production costs and reduce their environmental impact. Not surprisingly, he is ranked #6 among the 303 recognized researchers in the U.S. in the field of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering.

In 2011, the Sri Lankan government selected Professor Jawahir as one of the 44 international researchers of Sri Lankan origin to attend the 2011 Global Forum of Sri Lankan Scientists. In 2015, he was the first U.S. winner of the William Johnson International Gold Medal, presented to an academic researcher and educator for lifetime achievement in research and teaching of materials processing technologies. Another prestigious award followed in 2022 when the Society of Manufacturing Engineers awarded him the Frederick W Taylor Research Medal, created in honor of the great American inventor and visionary leader in manufacturing.

During the last three decades, Professor Jawahir has received significant research funding (over $70M) from U.S. federal agencies and numerous industry groups such as GM, Ford, Toyota, GE Aviation, IBM, Lexmark, Kennametal, Sandvik, 3M, and Haas Automation.

Currently, Professor Jawahir is the editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Sustainable Manufacturing and a technical editor of the Journal of Machining Science and Technology. He has been active in collaborative research through the International Institution for Production Engineering Research. He also is engaged in research collaboration with both Peradeniya and Moratuwa Universities in Sri Lanka, where he brought 4 Sri Lankan graduates to his University to do their Ph.D. studies. More recently, he has been working towards the goal of improving manufacturing capabilities with the U.S. Army.

The Sri Lanka Foundation thanks Professor I. S. Jawahir, Ph.D., for his pioneering work in the field of Mechanical Engineering and his relentless dedication to educating future engineers. His impressive achievements and work on sustainability are a step forward for future generations.