Georgia Institute of Technology and Novelis, Inc., the world leader in aluminum rolling and recycling, announced that Shreyes Melkote will serve as the new executive director of the Novelis Innovation Hub at Georgia Tech.
As Melkote assumes his appointment, Georgia Tech commends George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering Regents Professor Surya Kalidindi’s service as the inaugural interim executive director during the Novelis Innovation Hub’s first two years.
Since its establishment in 2019, the Novelis Innovation Hub has set a bold vision to foster world-class partnerships and collaborated with the Institute on battery research, electronics, robotics, high-throughput research, and additive manufacturing.
Advancing Mobility and Sustainability Goals
With additional investment and a permanent leadership appointment to guide the Innovation Hub, Novelis hopes to further advance its position in the aluminum industry through innovation in new technology and application domains, including sustainable mobility, electronics, advanced manufacturing, and supply chain.
“Sustainability is an important element of what Novelis wants to accomplish,” said Melkote, noting Novelis’s target to reduce its carbon footprint by 30% by 2026 and to be net carbon neutral by 2050. “Georgia Tech is focused on a lot of basic science, technologies, and business practices relevant to enabling a more sustainable enterprise.”
Melkote is uniquely qualified for the role, having led the Georgia Tech-Boeing Strategic University Partnership for the last eight years while serving as associate director of Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute (GTMI). He facilitated the establishment of the Boeing Manufacturing Development Center, an on-campus lab where students and faculty regularly collaborate with a resident Boeing engineer.
“I see this as an opportunity to leverage my experience and knowledge from the Boeing partnership and to expand it. Novelis is engaged in the entire lifecycle of innovation, from early-stage basic research, to applied research and commercialization that will impact society at large,” said Melkote, who also holds the Morris M. Bryan, Jr. Professorship in Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech. He will work closely with Dr. Raj Gopalaswamy, Novelis’ global technology director for new domains, who will lead Novelis’ engagement with Georgia Tech.
“To keep advancing the aluminum industry toward the circular economy, we must increase the pace of innovation and develop new solutions that demonstrate aluminum’s superior sustainability benefits,” said Gopalaswamy. “Through research partnerships with world-leading institutions like Georgia Tech, we can fulfill the growing needs for aluminum applications that help our customers meet their sustainability goals faster and more efficiently.”
Melkote agreed, adding, “What’s exciting is that Novelis wants to look at the cutting edge of research and see how they can leverage that knowledge to innovate and develop new products.”
“We’re thrilled to have Professor Melkote take on this leadership position in our growing collaboration with Novelis,” said Julia Kubanek, vice president for Interdisciplinary Research at Georgia Tech. “He brings substantial experience to this new role, having built Georgia Tech’s partnership with Boeing and served as associate director of the Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute for several years.”
Kubanek added that Melkote is well positioned to help Novelis broaden its relationship with Georgia Tech faculty and students, while engaging in key research areas to accelerate Novelis’s product innovation. Additionally, the Innovation Hub intends to not only fund research, but also establish a Scholars Program to fund research fellowships for Georgia Tech graduate and undergraduate students.
“Novelis’s philanthropy commitment allows us to innovate on the educational front, where we can make investments that benefit both Georgia Tech and our educational mission,” said Melkote. “In doing so, we help train the next generation of engineers who will go on to work for companies like Novelis that are committed to sustainability.”
About Georgia Tech
The Georgia Institute of Technology, or Georgia Tech, is a top 10 public research university developing leaders who advance technology and improve the human condition. The Institute offers business, computing, design, engineering, liberal arts, and sciences degrees. Its nearly 40,000 students representing 50 states and 149 countries, study at the main campus in Atlanta, at campuses in France and China, and through distance and online learning. As a leading technological university, Georgia Tech is an engine of economic development for Georgia, the Southeast, and the nation, conducting more than $1 billion in research annually for government, industry, and society.