Future composites engineers

To support the composites industry, an increasing number of colleges and universities offer composite materials and design courses within mechanical, chemical and civil engineering degree programs. Educators have networked progressively with suppliers and OEMs, cosponsoring projects that give students hands-on

To support the composites industry, an increasing number of colleges and universities offer composite materials and design courses within mechanical, chemical and civil engineering degree programs. Educators have networked progressively with suppliers and OEMs, cosponsoring projects that give students hands-on experience in materials evaluation and procurement, part design and fabrication. A notable recent effort is The Initiative, a "transferable model"for composites training developed by an unusual alliance in Maine that includes government entities, educational institutions, private trainers, and associations, such as the Maine Boat Building Assn. (MBBA), Maine Composites Alliance (MCA) and the ACMA. This consortium has acquired facilities, developed formal curricula and will issue Certifications for Composites Training. The group's ultimate goal is to create a two-year Science Degree in Composites. More importantly, proponents say that, with the federal funding behind it, the concept is a repeatable blueprint that could be used in any U.S. state or region. (To read more, visit www.compositesworld.com/ct/issues/2007/October/112059.)