Faculty Profile

Srikanth PillA

Professor & Director of Center for Composite Materials

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Joint appointment in Materials Sciences & Engineering, and Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering


  • Post-Doctorate – Civil Engineering, Stanford University
  • Doctorate – Mechanical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Masters – Mechanical Engineering, University of Toledo
  • Bachelors – Mechanical Engineering, JNT University India

About Srikanth Pilla

Dr. Srikanth Pilla is a Professor and Director of the Center for Composite Materials at the University of Delaware (UD-CCM) with faculty appointments in Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. He is also the Founding Director of ‘AIM for Composites’, a Department of Energy funded Energy Frontier Research Center. Pilla earned his doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a postdoctoral training from Stanford University. Prior to joining UD-CCM, Pilla held the ExxonMobil Employees Chair in Engineering at Clemson University and was the founding director of the Clemson Composites Center. Pilla also worked as an Assistant Scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Pilla’s research interests are in the fundamentals and applications of sustainable and lightweight functional materials and manufacturing. Pilla has co-authored over 150 peer-reviewed archival publications. His research is supported by NSF, DOE, USDA, DOD, and NASA, besides several foundations and industries including automotive OEMs, and their suppliers.
Pilla currently serves as the Editor-in-Chief of SAE International Journal of Sustainable Transportation, Energy, Environment and Policy. Pilla’s efforts in research and engineering education have garnered him numerous awards, including the 2022 DOE-VTO Team Award, 2021 US EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award, 2021 Innovision’s Sustainability Award, 2019 Composites Educator of the Year Award, 2018 SC Governor’s Young Scientist Award, 2017 Stefan Pischinger Young Industry Leadership Award, 2017 SAE Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award, and 2016 Robert J. Hocken Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer award from SME. He has supervised over 50 graduate students and postdocs, and many undergraduate students. Four of his former team members now hold faculty positions at the University of Texas-El Paso, Cleveland State University, Clemson University and Amasya University.

Select Publications

For a complete listing of publications, please view the Full CV.

  1. Sternberg, J., Pilla, S., “Chemical Recycling of a Lignin-based Non-isocyanate Polyurethane Foam,” Nature Sustainability, 6 (3), 316-324 (2023)
  2. Sabet, S.M., Sapkota, N., Chiluwal, S., Zheng, T., Clemons, C., Rao, A.M., Pilla, S., “Sulfurized Polyacrylonitrile Impregnated Delignified Wood-Based 3D Carbon Framework for High-Performance Lithium-Sulfur Batteries,” ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 11 (6), 2314-2323 (2023)
  3. Zarei, A., Pilla, S., “An improved theory of thermoelasticity for ultrafast heating of materials using short and ultrashort laser pulses,” International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 215, 124510 (2023)
  4. Farahani, S., Khade, V., Basu, S., Pilla, S., “A data-driven predictive maintenance framework for injection molding process,” Journal of Manufacturing Processes, 80, 887-897 (2022)
  5. Limaye, M., Pradeep, S.A., Kothari, A., Savla, S., Agha, A., Pilla, S., Li, G., “Thermoforming process effects on structural performance of carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic composite parts through a manufacturing to response pathway,” Composites Part B: Engineering, 235, 109728 (2022)
  6. Zheng, T., Clemons, C.M., Pilla, S., “Grafting PEG on cellulose nanocrystals via polydopamine chemistry and the effects of PEG graft length on the mechanical performance of composite film,” Carbohydrate Polymers, 271, 118405 (2021)
  7. Sternberg, J., Sequerth, O., Pilla, S., “Green chemistry design in polymers derived from lignin: review and perspective,” Progress in Polymer Science, 113, 101344 91 (2021)
  8. Iyer, R.K., Pilla, S., “Environmental profile of thermoelectrics for applications with continuous waste heat generation via life cycle assessment,” Science of The Total Environment, 752, 141674 (2021)
  9. Sternberg, J., Pilla, S., “Materials for the biorefinery: high bio-content, shape memory Kraft lignin-derived non-isocyanate polyurethane foams using a non-toxic protocol,” Green Chemistry, 22 (20), 6922-6935 (2020)


  1. Pilla, S., Sternber, J., Karanfil, T., Ariturk, E., Activated carbon for removal of taste and odor compounds from water, US Patent App. 17/961,203 (2023)
  2. Pilla, S., Sabet, M., Rao, A.M., Chen, N., Hollow porous silicon-based structures and method of formation, US Patent App. 17/525,497 (2022)
  3. Pilla, S., Sternberg, J.S., Bio-based non-isocyanate poly (urethane-amide) thermoplastic polymers, US Patent App. 17/380,467 (2022)
  4. Pilla, S., Sternberg, J., Non-Isocyanate Polyurethanes from Bio-Based Polyols, U.S. Patent Application No. 63034584 (2021)
  5. Pilla, S., Farahani, S., System and Method for Producing Multi-Material Hybrids With A Foam Structure, US Patent App. 17/064,816 (2021)


For a complete listing of awards, please view the Full CV.

  1. Department of Energy – Vehicle Technologies Office “Team” Award, 2022
  2. Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award, Environmental Protection Agency, 2021
  3. Sustainability Award, Innovision Organization, 2021
  4. Composites Educator of the Year Award, Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE), 2019
  5. South Carolina Governor’s Young Scientist Award for Excellence in Scientific Research, 2018
  6. Outstanding Young Scientist Award, BioEnvironmental Polymer Society (BEPS), 2017
  7. Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award, Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), 2017
  8. Stefan Pischinger Young Industry Leadership Award, SAE Foundation, 2017
  9. Forest R. McFarland Award, Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), 2017
  10. Robert J. Hocken Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award, SME, May 2016

Research Areas

Composites materials design, and manufacturing, sustainable and recyclable-by-design polymers and composites, polymer processing and characterization, informatics driven discovery of new polymers and composites, composites recycling, hybrid manufacturing systems, and composites 4.0.

Office: 201D CCM
Phone: 302-831-3182
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