Why did you take on the project?
I’m willing to tackle virtually any kind of project. I figure out how things can be done, and then I do it. I have a lot of experience in seeing how things work. My important contribution to this whole project was to have organized it and to have seen it through to the end.
What were the challenges in manufacturing the composites?
Jim Gardiner, general manager of Compmillennia, and I were very creative. Initially, we met on the 1st of September, and by the end of October we were building molds 30 to 35 meters long. The parts were huge, even some of the molded parts but we didn’t have to have this huge variety of equipment and molds to make the parts. We set the mold on top, and covered it over and post-cured it in Compmillennia’s shop in North Carolina.
What new developments arose out of this project?
With Ohio-based Edison Welding Institute, which specializes in development and testing of connections, we developed a DMV-class approved connection for steel-to-composite panels.
What is your vision for the industry?
My vision for the composites industry is one in which advanced materials are used to their best-suited use to replace traditional materials. For example, to improve tensile and sheer strength, and to reduce weight of structures in areas where they have not been traditionally used such as bridges. In so doing, we will be providing a greater future for our industry and building things that have much greater lifespan and reduced maintenance costs. This is a win-win situation for all. With the International Building Code (IBC) now including references to “Composite Materials” we are now able to move forward with many great possibilities.