People on the Move: May 2018

CW’s monthly roundup of people on the move in the composites industry.
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4M Carbon Fiber Corp.

4M Carbon Fiber Corp. (Knoxville, TN, US) announced May 1 that Rob Klawonn has joined the company as chief executive officer to lead the commercialization of their industry-disruptive carbon fiber production technology to manufacture carbon fiber. 

Mr. Klawonn assumes the role of CEO, succeeding Josh Kimmel, who has held the position for a year. Mr. Kimmel will continue to serve as the company’s president and will also be on the corporation’s board of directors. “Rob’s expertise, knowledge and network in the carbon fiber industry is exactly what 4M needs at this stage to ensure the company maximizes the value of the technology,” says Kimmel.

For the past 10 years, Mr. Klawonn has been president of Teijin Carbon America (Rockwood, TN, US) – formerly Toho Tenax America – and since 2015, he has also been president of Diversified Structural Composites (Erlanger, KY,  US), a Teijin subsidiary producing various pultruded components for the Wind Energy and Industrial sectors. He has been on the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA, Arlington, VA, US) Board of Directors since 2015.

Mr. Klawonn says, “The past 10 years have been extremely challenging for materials businesses, including carbon fiber. While glass fiber composites are relatively mature, carbon fiber is still an adolescent with a tremendous future. 4M’s plasma oxidation technology will position it to survive and thrive in a competitive landscape of incumbent materials such as steel, aluminum and glass fiber composites.”    

Our goal is to stand up multiple carbon fiber production lines in the next five years,” saysRodney Grubb, chairman and chief operating officer of 4M. “With his extensive background and industry experience, Rob will be instrumental in helping us to do that.”


AnalySwift, LLC

AnalySwift, LLC (West Jordan, UT, US), a provider of efficient high-fidelity modeling software for composites and other advanced materials, announced May 1 that Dr. Hamsasew Sertse has joined the company in its research and engineering division. Dr. Sertse will be involved in research and development on AnalySwift’s simulation software, including SwiftComp, a general-purpose multiscale modeling code.

“We are very pleased to bring Dr. Sertse on board with AnalySwift,” says Allan Wood, president & CEO of AnalySwift. “He arrives with strong expertise in micromechanics, multiscale structural mechanics, and damage and failure analysis of composites, which are crucial areas for AnalySwift. Dr. Sertse’s addition to AnalySwift strengthens the company and benefits the customers. In particular, his expertise will guide improvements to the code as well as help customers performing complex composite simulations.”

Dr. Sertse received his PhD in Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering from Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN, US). Dr. Sertse previously received his M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from both Syracuse University (Syracuse, NY, US) and Addis Ababa University (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia).

As a research assistant at Purdue University, Dr. Sertse analyzed micromechanics based initial/static failure prediction of composites, including particle-reinforced, woven and short fiber composites using various failure criteria including Tsia-Wu, Tsai-Hill and maximum stress/strain. He extensively used finite element analysis (FEA) and AnalySwift’s multiscale structural analysis code SwiftComp to solve problems related to failure and damage. Dr. Sertse also analyzed micromechanics based on progressive and fatigue damage analysis of composites using continuum damage mechanics approach. Additionally, Dr. Sertse looked into the effect of an imperfect interface on the predictions of elastic properties of composites. He also analyzed predictive capabilities and efficiency of various state of the art micromechanics approaches as part of the Micromechanics Simulation Challenge, hosted by Purdue University. Previously, Dr. Sertse served as a solution consultant intern at Dassault Systemes (Waltham, MA, US) and a mechanical engineer in LobePro Rotary Pump Company (Brunswick, GA, US).


LMT Onsrud LP

LMT Onsrud LP (Waukegan, IL, US) announced April 26 that Chris Stewart has joined LMT Onsrud LP as the new Composites Application Specialist covering the US and Canada.

Chris comes to LMT Onsrud with over 11 years of manufacturing and sales experience and has worked as a process engineer for General Motors, a manufacturing engineer for a medical device manufacturer and most recently as a sales manager for an OEM cutting tool manufacturer. Chis has a Bachelor of Science degree from Kettering University in Mechanical Engineering.


Magnum Venus Products

Magnum Venus Products (MVP, Knoxville, TN, US) announced at the end of April that Kelly White joined the company as an Advanced Equipment account manager.  White has over 15 years of experience working with filament winding composites equipment and other automated composites equipment systems.

Kelly joins team members John Schreiner and Andrew Hedger. Andrew Hedger, who joined the company as an Advanced Equipment account manager just last year, brings over 10 years of experience in working with different facets of MVP, in everything from sales to product management. With over 50 years of combined industry experience, MVP’s Advanced Equipment team will continue working toward a goal of ever increasing growth. With this team in place, MVP continues to put focus on growing their business in advanced large-scale composites equipment, be that filament winding composites equipment or automated composites equipment. 


Southeast Nonwovens Inc.

Southeast Nonwovens Inc. (Clover, SC, US) announced May 5 that Paul L. Latten has joined the company as director of Research & Development. Paul brings 30 years of experience in the fibers, polymers and nonwovens industries to the company.

“There is a growing need for differentiation through material science and technology across a variety of industries. Southeast Nonwovens is excited to have Paul join our team with his technical, business leadership and market development knowledge. Our unique ability to help clients disrupt status quo at lower cost has just gotten stronger,” says Steve Nielsen, president of Southeast Nonwovens Inc.