SCRA Applied R&D (Summerville, SC, US) has hired Dr. Jim Sutter, renowned researcher in high temperature polymer and out-of-autoclave (OOA) composites, recently retired from NASA Glenn Research Center (Cleveland, OH, US). Sutter was the NASA materials lead for the development of large scale (8-10m wide) polymer matrix composites for heavy lift launch vehicle (HLV) dry structure applications (2008-present). He also researched applications requiring high-temperature polymers for advanced aircraft and hypersonic applications and led the materials development for the Cryogenic Composite Technology Demonstration (CCTD) project for the Space Technology Mission Directorate. Dr. Sutter is now the Technical Director for SCRA’s Composite Technology Manufacturing Center (CTMC, Anderson, SC) and will oversee Manufacturing Technology (Mantech) programs to develop composite materials applications funded by the Office of Naval Research (ONR, Arlington, VA, US).
Construct is SCRA Applied R&D’s architectural structures affiliate, which works with architects early in the design process to select, engineer and deliver custom-engineered composite components which provide the best available materials solution based on the key requirements and installation criteria for each project.
Construct has won a competitive contract to build a composite structure for the new Taubman Complex at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Michigan. Working with general contractor DeMaria (Novi, MI, US), Construct will fabricate, deliver and install a 12.8m recycled carbon fiber composite “orb” staircase enclosure. To achieve potential LEED credits for the project, Construct will use at least 10% post-industrial recycled carbon fiber content from SCRA portfolio company, MIT-RCF (Lake City, SC, US).
“It was important to find a green technology that will not only achieve LEED credits, but will also offer durability and strength to meet the design requirements,” said Mike Les, Project Manager for DeMaria. “We look forward to what this unique project will bring to the building.”
The design architect for the building is the architecture firm Morphosis (Los Angeles, CA, US), founded by Thom Mayne, and the architect of record for the project is Kahn of Detroit. The design includes particular specifications for structural strength and aesthetic elements. The structure will be an all-composite, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 285-certified staircase enclosure which is supported from the side and hangs over a reflection pool.
“We are delighted to bring our expertise in composite structures to this exciting project,” said SCRA VP and Construct general manager David Humphries. “The opportunity to offer our unique advanced materials proficiency using recycled carbon fiber will help bring this distinctive design to life and will be a beautiful focal point for the building.”