Y. Lawrence Yao is Professor and Chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Columbia University, where he also serves as the Director of the Manufacturing Research Laboratory (MRL). Before joining Columbia in 1994, he was a Senior Lecturer in the School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1988, following his MS from the same institution, and a BE from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China, all in Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Yao and his team in the Manufacturing Research Laboratory (MRL) are interested in multidisciplinary research in manufacturing and design, nontraditional manufacturing, laser materials processing, laser assisted material removal, shaping, and surface modification, laser applications in industry and art restoration, robotics in industry, and health care. Professor Yao currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Laser Institute of America, and of the North American Manufacturing Research Institution of SME. He also serves as an Associate Editor of the SME Journal of Manufacturing Processes, SME Journal of Manufacturing Systems, and High Temperature Material Processes: An International Journal, France. He is the recipient of the 2006 Blackall Machine Tool and Gauge Award from ASME.