Thomas Starr

Professor, Chemical Engineering


Dr. Starr is a Professor of Chemical Engineering in the J.B. Speed School of Engineering. He joined the University of Louisville in August 1998 and served as Chair of the Chemical Engineering Department for 2000-2004 and Associate Dean of Research and Physical Facilities from 2004-2015. Prior to joining UofL, Dr. Starr spent eighteen years at Georgia Tech directing and managing research programs in the School of Materials Science and Engineering and in the Georgia Tech Research Institute.  Dr. Starr earned a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Louisville and a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Detroit.

Teaching Interests

At UofL Dr. Starr has taught a number of engineering courses in the areas of thermodynamics, materials science and physical chemistry. He developed a two-course sequence for M.Eng. students on the fundamentals of research proposal and business plan writing. At Georgia Tech Dr. Starr developed graduate courses in composites manufacturing and in structure-property relationships for materials. Dr. Starr strives to use active learning and peer-to-peer learning techniques in all of his classes.

Research Interests

Dr. Starr has conducted research in additive manufacturing and 3D printing technology for nearly 20 years. Over the past several years Dr. Starr’s investigation of mechanical performance of metal alloys fabricated by LS has produced some of the only openly-available data on fatigue performance of these materials. His prior work includes evaluation of stereolithography (SLA) tooling for ceramic injection molding, use of powder delivery laser deposition (LD) for combinatorial alloy development, and powder bed laser sintering (LS) for additive manufacturing of plastic and metal parts.  His research aims to create better understanding of the laser sintering process for both metals and polymers and how process parameters affect mechanical performance.  His work with polymer LS led to a new correlation among process parameters that better relates to mechanical performance.  This “energy-melt-ratio” is uniquely suited to investigation of new and higher temperature polymers.