Faces of Research - Meet Ben Wang
Aug 17, 2021 — Atlanta, GA
Meet Ben Wang, executive director of the Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute (GTMI).
GTMI is one of Georgia Tech's 10 interdisciplinary research institutes within the Georgia Tech Research enterprise.
What is your field of expertise and why did you choose it?
I find myself fascinated by challenges at the nexus of advanced manufacturing, innovative materials, and data analytics. Advanced manufacturing is all about creating value for society by making things that we use daily in transportation, healthcare, and telecommunications. The vibrant manufacturing industry is the foundation for national security, economic prosperity, and good-paying jobs. How can I not be energized?
What makes the way in which GTMI enables campus research unique?
We strive to support all members of the Georgia Tech manufacturing community to be the best they can be. Manufacturing at Georgia Tech is with an upper-case M—what we call Big M Manufacturing. Big M Manufacturing goes far beyond the four walls of a factory. It covers the entire value chain of physical and biological products and the data that support these products. We are recognized as a translational Research & Development (R&D) leader. We accelerate the maturation of new technologies and materials and bring them to the marketplace in the shortest possible time and at the lowest possible cost and risk. Additionally, we are a leader in the national manufacturing-related policy discussion and roadmap development. Georgia Tech has been instrumental in shaping the federal manufacturing R&D programs, for example, the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, the Manufacturing USA Manufacturing Innovation Institutes, and the NIST AMTech program.
What couldn’t have happened without GTMI?
I am pleased that Georgia Tech is always on the top of the list that companies and governments want to partner in advanced manufacturing. Advanced manufacturing R&D is the heart of what we do. We focus on crafting and refining a science-focused, solution-driven approach to engaging with our customers and partners. Our favorite part of the job is getting out there and talking to our customers and partners to see or anticipate the pain points and how we can eliminate those pain points even before they occur.
What impact is GTMI research having on the world?
We develop and deliver new technologies which make products and services that matter to the global citizens. Examples include making aviation safer, bringing advanced therapies and healthcare services to market more effectively and affordably—all without hurting the environment.
What do you like to do in your spare time when you are not working on your research or teaching?
Photography is my hobby—I like to use as many graphics and photos as possible in my technical presentation slides—especially photos that were captured by me.