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10/3/2016 | 1 MINUTE READ

Scott Beckwith receives SAMPE’s first Distinguished Service Award

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Beckwith, who joined SAMPE in 1974, is a standard-bearer of SAMPE service and technical know-how.


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Composites industry veteran and longtime SAMPE member and activist Scott Beckwith received last week at CAMX 2016 the inaugural Distinguished Service Award from SAMPE for his service to the organization and the composites industry. The award came a “complete and total surprise” to Beckwith, who said that he was overwhelmed by the honor.

Beckwith owns his own consulting firm, BTG Composites (Taylorsville, Utah), and has been SAMPE’s technical director since 1998, making him the longest serving person on SAMPE’s executive board.

He says he joined SAMPE in 1974 when he got a job at Hercules in Salt Lake City, Utah. Beckwith’s boss was a past-president of SAMPE and suggested Beckwith get involved with the organization. “Membership was just $26 a year and I thought that was a pretty good deal,” he says. “Before I knew it, I was writing papers and giving presentations.” And he hasn’t looked back since.

Beckwith worked at Hercules through 1993, and then launched BTG Composites, which offers consulting, expert testimony, design, training, process development and a variety of other services. Beckwith’s most memorable product development project? The Vomit Comet, a composite structure with four rows of four seats into which NASA strapped astronauts-in-training, and then rotated them, amusement park style, at speeds up to 70 rpm. “It had to be fully cleanable,” Beckwith quips.

Looking to composites’ future, Beckwith is cautiously optimistic about growth and technical development. What he hopes to see more of, however, is technological cross-pollination, particularly between aerospace and automotive, the latter of which has substantial cycle time, quality and process control problems to solve: “I am hoping that, as they meet those challenges and find solutions, the aerospace industry will adapt some of the same technology.”

Beckwith also points to workforce development — particularly among high school and young college students — as vital to the composites industry’s expansion and maturation, and he is glad to see SAMPE and ACMA both heavily involved in education and training.