More than 150 students, academics, technicians, and business owners from 27 states attended the Composites in Wind workshop presented by Composites One, the Closed Mold Alliance, and Magnum Venus Products (MVP) in partnership with the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The purpose of the two-day workshop was to give people a better understanding of the latest developments in advanced materials and processes.

Held June 14-15 at NREL’s National Wind Technology Center in Boulder, Colorado, the Composites in Wind Workshop featured over a dozen sessions led by subject matter experts. They included live demonstrations of vacuum infusion, light resin transfer molding and repair methods. Ed Pilpel, President of Polystrand, presented a keynote address discussing advances in thermoplastics.

Workforce development has been a continuing area of focus for the composites industry. For many students looking to identify career paths, the wind energy industry could be a viable option. According to a report from U.S Department of Labor, the demand for wind turbine technicians is expected to grow by 108 percent over the next ten years. Additionally, Research and Markets recently released a report claiming wind energy is projected to emerge as the fastest-growing application for composites during 2016-2021.

“The Composites One – IACMI partnership continues to grow, and the goal of educating the next generation of composites professionals, along with today’s workforce is coming to fruition,” said Composites One Director of Marketing Communications Marcy Offner.

IACMI –The Composites Institute CEO Craig Blue agreed, adding “Successful integration of innovative technologies such as advanced composites depends on a number of critical factors, including availability of a skilled workforce with hands-on training in advanced materials.”

There will be two more workshops held by the group this year:

  • Process & Advanced Materials Workshop – West Lafayette, Ind.
  • Process & Automotive Market Advances in Composites – Detroit, Mich.

Check for dates and registration details.