SPE ACCE calls for scholarship applications, poster submissions

The SPE Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition (ACCE) is seeking graduate and undergraduate applicants for several scholarships.

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The SPE (Troy, MI, US) Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition (SPE ACCE) organizing committee has issued its annual call for applications for three SPE ACCE scholarships and two awards from a new endowed scholarship still in the process of being funded in honor of the late Dr. Jackie Rekhopf, a long-time SPE ACCE volunteer and automotive composites expert. Applications are due May 1 and winners will be announced prior to the 2016 SPE ACCE show, Sept. 7-9, 2016 in Novi, MI, US.

Each of the three ACCE scholarships is in the amount of $2,000 USD. Two of the scholarships (given annually since 2007) are for full-time graduate students anywhere in the world who are pursuing degrees in polymer science, composites, plastics or a related engineering discipline. A third ACCE scholarship is available for a graduate or junior or senior undergraduate student pursuing similar academic programs at a university or college in the U.S. state of Michigan.

In just five months, the new Dr. Jackie Rehkopf scholarship is approximately half-way to its $100,000 USD goal to reach full endowment. Contributions from the SPE Automotive and Composites Divisions, which have co-organized the ACCE show since 2001 and provided seed money to start the scholarship, will allow two scholarships to be given in 2016. The scholarships are available to either full-time graduate or junior or senior undergraduate students anywhere in the world pursuing degrees in polymer science, composites, plastics or a related engineering discipline, with preference given to female students (although the best candidates will be selected). Up to two $5,000 USD scholarships each will be awarded to qualified graduate students, or up to two $2,500 USD scholarships each will be awarded to qualified undergraduate students if no graduate applications are received, or a combination of one $5,000 graduate award and one $2,500 undergraduate award for the 2016-2017 academic year will be provided.

Applications for ACCE, Rehkopf, and many other SPE scholarships for the 2016-2017 academic year may be found at SPE Foundation. Deadline for submission is May 1, 2016.

SPE ACCE also is inviting abstract submissions on innovative composites technologies for automotive and ground transportation for its eighth-annual student poster competition held during the conference. Judges made up of media, industry experts and SPE board members will review all posters with student authors on the first day of the conference, Sept. 7. First, second, and third place awards will be presented to winners in graduate and undergraduate categories during a special ceremony after lunch on the event's second day.

Students wishing to participate in the 2016 competition should contact Dr. Uday Vaidya, ACCE student poster competition chair as well as chief technology officer, Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) and professor and governor's chair, Advanced Composites Manufacturing at University of Tennessee-Knoxville, at acceposters@speautomotive.com. Abstracts are due by April 15; digital copies of posters are due by Aug. 20 for preview by judges. Students will need to bring printed copies of their posters to the conference, which they can attend at no fee.

Students and their posters will be ranked according to the following criteria:

  • Content (student and poster demonstrate clarity of topic, objectives and background)
  • Motivation for research and technical relevance to conference theme
  • Methodology and approach to problem
  • Quality of proposed research results/findings
  • Conclusion are supported by information presented
  • Presentation (display aesthetics are pleasing and there is a logical flow between sections)
  • Knowledge (presenter has a good grasp of the subject)
  • Understandability (poster is effective even without student being present to explain it)
  • Overall rank vs. other posters and presenters. 


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