GE Global Research Chief Scientist Dr. Krishan Luthra Awarded American Ceramic Society’s Prestigious John Jeppson Award

  • The Jeppson Award recognizes distinguished scientific, technical, or engineering achievements in ceramics
  • GE’s Father of Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMCs) honored for his lifelong work that led to the first demonstrations and commercialization of CMCs in industrial gas turbines and commercial jet engines
  • The *CFM LEAP engine for narrow body aircraft, which entered service in 2016, has CMC shrouds surrounding the hot gas path of the engine.   
  • Total LEAP orders to date are valued at $220+ billion 
NISKAYUNA NY – October 26, 2018 -- GE Global Research Chief Scientist Dr. Krishan Luthra, known as GE’s Father of Ceramic Matrix Composites, was awarded one of the American Ceramic Society’s highest honors, the John Jeppson Award.  Jeppson was a late 19th early 20th century industrialist whose work established a foundation for advancing the growth of the ceramics industry. His experience producing some of the first ceramic grinding wheels helped to establish the Norton Company, and abrasive solutions company.    
“The Jeppson Award recognizes significant contributions to the field from the industrial sector. Advances in materials research such as those made by Krishan and previous Jeppson awardees, transform laboratory R&D into realities that impact the lives of people in positive ways,” said Charlie Spahr, ACerS executive director.
“In many ways, Krishan embodies the spirit of John Jeppson himself. He is both a great inventor and industrialist,” said James Vartuli, CMCs Technology Platform Leader at GE Global Research.  “Krishan’s technical accomplishments haven’t just transformed GE, they have revolutionized the entire Aviation industry with the introduction of CMCs into commercial jet engines.”
Vartuli added, “Krishan has been a wonderful mentor and colleague to me and to so many scientists and engineers we have the privilege of working with across the Global Research Center. And his curiosity and drive to invent and push new technical boundaries has not waned one bit.  He’s more focused than ever on pushing the temperature tolerances and capabilities of CMCs even higher.”
Dr. Luthra said, “It is truly an honor to join such a distinguished list of past recipients to be recognized with the Jeppson Award. This is an award I very much share with my colleagues across General Electric who I have had the privilege of working with during my career. Realizing an innovation that enters the market at this scale, requires a broad, interdisciplinary team.  It’s that team spirit and caliber of the team itself that have enabled us to drive technical breakthroughs such as CMCs.” 
About Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMCS)
CMCs are high temperature ceramic materials, with metal-like toughness. Able to operate at temperatures hundreds of degrees hotter than the most advanced nicked-based alloys, they represent the next generation of breakthrough materials for jet engines that are setting new standards in efficiency and performance.  
Developed and incubated at the GRC, GE Aviation was the first to introduce CMCs parts into the hot sections of jet engines when the *CFM LEAP for narrow body aircraft entered service in 2016. As the Aviation business expands its use of CMCS parts in current and future engine platforms, GE scientists also are working to integrate CMCs into its large industrial gas turbines as well.
About Dr. Krishan Luthra
Krishan joined GE Global Research in Niskayuna, NY in 1976 and has held a variety of technical and management roles during his more than four decades with Lab. Prior to his current role as a Chief Scientist, he led an organization of ~230 technologists in Ceramics and Metallurgy Technologies. 
It was in the late 1980s that Krishan began his pioneering work to explore the application of structural ceramics in industrial turbines. It was a quest many across the power and aviation industries were trying to figure out during this period. Krishan had a unique approach that he thought might work and formed various partnerships with government agencies such as the US Department of Energy to develop GE’s CMCs technical platform. In the early 2000s, the CMCs team began field testing CMC components in GE’s gas turbines with actual Power customers. The insights and resulted gained from this testing convinced the research team that this material would be ideal for use in jet engines as well.  Just over a decade later, CMC components would begin flying in commercial jet engines.
During his career, Dr. Luthra has accumulated 40 issued patents and another 10 that are pending. He also authored more than 100 technical papers and receiving many honors over the years. He is a past recipient of GE Global Research’s Coolidge Award. Name after one of GE’s early research pioneers, William Coolidge, it is the highest individual honor a scientist can receive from the Lab.  Dr. Luthra also is a Fellow of the American Ceramic Society.
About GE Global Research
GE Global Research is GE’s innovation powerhouse where research meets reality. We are a world-class team of 1,000+ scientific, engineering and marketing minds (600+ Ph. Ds), working at the intersection of physics and markets, physical and digital technologies, and across a broad set of industries to deliver world-changing innovations and capabilities for our customers.  
* CFM International is a 50/50 joint company between GE and Safran Aircraft Engines.
Todd Alhart
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