Magdi Naim Azer

Magdi Naim Azer
Magdi Naim Azer
Associate Director for Manufacturing Science
(217) 300-3612
Suite 206 Applied Research Institute


Dr. Magdi Azer is the Associate Director for Manufacturing Science in the Illinois Applied Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In this role he leads a large team focused on implementing applied research, development and engineering in digital manufacturing, intelligent machining processes, smart factory applications, and defense systems. Dr. Azer joined the ARI in March 2015. He earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and he received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Kansas State University.

Dr. Azer is an industry veteran with two decades of technical and business management experience across a professional career largely with General Electric. He started his career at GE Aviation, serving as program manager for its laser shock-peening program before moving to GE Global Research (GEGR) in 2007. He most recently worked as Business Development Manager for GEGR, where he was responsible for coordinating GE manufacturing, software, and aviation propulsion teams in identifying and building technical collaborations between GE business units and customers. Dr. Azer worked in partnership with government customers, developing teaming arrangements and competitive R&D proposals for federal support. Prior to his elevation to Business Development Manager, he managed the Laser Applications and Laser & Metrology Systems labs in support of U.S. Air Force programs and applications.

Recently as the liaison between GEGR and outside business and university partners, Dr. Azer worked closely with U+ILabs in Chicago to craft a proposal that helped the Illinois-based team win $70 million in funding to establish the DoD Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute. In this position he helped coordinate the research, development, and engineering interaction among more than 40 companies and 30 universities.

He remains active in the international research community. Between 2005 and 2010 he served two terms as a board member for the Laser Institute of America (LIA), and lead the GE engagement with the Center for Lasers & Plasmas in Manufacturing, a National Science Foundation Industry & University Coopera-tive Research Program. Dr. Azer has authored or co-authored 30 publications and holds nine patents re-lated to laser-materials processing.

Research Areas

  • Materials
  • Monitoring, Diagnostics and Controls

Research Topics

  • Defense and Security
  • Manufacturing