Dr. Leo Christodoulou

Accelerating Innovation In ManufacturingDr. Leo Christodoulou

Presentation Time: August 12, 9:00 - 10:30 AM


Manufacturing innovation is key to a robust manufacturing sector. However, manufacturing innovation requires not only technological breakthroughs but an understanding of the requirements and constraints of profitably manufacturing products at a quality, cost and rate that the global marketplace demands.

The innovators challenge is to understand the magnitude of effort (and investment) necessary to translate a brilliant idea into a product or service that a customer is willing to adopt and ultimately pay for. Within the aerospace industry the barriers to insertion of new technology can be formidable due to the (typically) high cost of scale-up, qualification, certification and the risk of potential negative impact of premature insertion. There are, however, steps and procedures that can be employed to facilitate the rapid adoption of innovative manufacturing technology and these will be discussed and a few case studies will be highlighted.

Biographical Sketch:

Dr. Leo Christodoulou is Enterprise Domain Leader for Structures Technology, one of Boeing’s eight focused technology domains that comprise the company’s Enterprise Technology Strategy.

As the aerospace leader, Boeing's broad and diversified technology portfolio is focused on the future. And so, Christodoulou works across Boeing’s many businesses to provide focus on technical priorities and maximum value for structures-related research investments.

Christodoulou joined Boeing in October 2012 from the U.S. Department of Energy, where he was head of the Advanced Manufacturing Office and co-chairman of the Inter-Agency Working Group on the White House’s Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Initiative, a program launched by President Obama in June 2011. Before that assignment, Christodoulou was Director of the Defense Sciences Office at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), where he applied his research expertise to developing revolutionary capabilities for the U.S. military. While at DARPA, Christodoulou directed interdisciplinary research and development across the fields of math, physics and quantum science, materials, portable energy and power, tactical medicine, biological warfare defense and neuroscience. He also pioneered the accelerated development of multifunctional materials to realize a new class of unmanned, micro aircraft used by U.S. forces today. He is also the co-inventor and primary developer of a class of materials known as XD Alloys.

Christodoulou earned a bachelor's degree and doctorate in metallurgy from Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine in London, and his research in environment-sensitive fracture of engineering materials continued at Carnegie Mellon University as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow.

Christodoulou has taught materials science at Imperial College. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Metals, and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 1996 Grunfeld Medal, 2006 National Materials Advancement Award from the Federation of Materials Societies, and 2011 Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service.