Doctor Pfefferkorn is a professor in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Mechanical Engineering and the director of the Manufacturing Systems Engineering program at UW-Madison.
He earned his doctoral degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana (2002). His research goal is to build a scientific understanding of advanced manufacturing processes, develop physics-based models that can be used to improve and control these processes, and to transfer this fundamental knowledge to industry.
Dr. Pfefferkorn conducts research that is focused on discrete metal part manufacturing processes. One can say that his focus is where the tool meets the workpiece—whether that tool is a laser, mechanical cutting tool, friction stir tool, etc. Currently, his laboratory is conducting research on: friction stir welding and processing, placing sensors in the coatings of cutting tools for smart manufacturing, solid-state metal additive-subtractive manufacturing, and laser remelting surfaces for polishing, structuring, and hardening.
Dr. Pfefferkorn is an associate member of the International Academy of Production Engineering (CIRP), a recipient of the 2007 Kuo K. Wang Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), and a recipient of the Machine Tool Technology Research Foundation (MTTRF) equipment loan award. From September 2015 through August 2016, Dr. Pfefferkorn served as the assistant director for research partnerships in the Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office located at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Maryland. He has an appointment at the Technical University of Vienna (TU Wien) as a visiting professor, funded by the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation. This visiting professorship has him spending approximately three months per year in Vienna, building a strong research collaboration in advanced manufacturing research between TU Wien and UW-Madison.