BASF’s student competition looks for superior finish on carbon fiber composites

Competition open to U.S. and Canadian Ph.D. students and young researchers.

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BASF (Florham Park, NJ) has kicked off its third annual North American science competition, which focuses on creating a superior coating finish on carbon fiber composites. OEMs seek to use lightweight panels to improve fuel economy, which must exhibit a superior finish equivalent to other substrates. However, coating carbon fiber composites is challenging due to the thermal expansion difference between the resin and fiber.

Through the competition, BASF hopes to encourage the development of ideas that address this challenge. Ideas can focus on any aspect of the system, and BASF coaches will help finalists develop their pitches.

“This engaging and competitive event will help BASF address a global sustainability challenge to improve fuel economy by enhancing the use of lightweight materials in vehicles,” says Christopher Hewitt, BASF science relations manager, North America. “Participants will work collaboratively to develop, communicate and pitch their ideas while networking with BASF researchers, coaches and executives.”

Open to teams consisting of two to four Ph.D. students and young researchers in the U.S. and Canada (excluding Quebec), this competition encourages innovative and game-changing ideas.

Proposals will be accepted until May 19, 2017. All finalists will receive cash awards and the opportunity to present their proof-of-concept to BASF executives August 24 and 25 at the BASF North American Automotive Coatings Headquarters in Southfield, Mich.

For more information, and to enter the competition, visit