In 2020, we have changed the way we live, work and interact with those around us in response to COVID-19. Adaptation has been key this year in almost every aspect, and that theme flowed into CAMX 2020 – The Composites and Advanced Materials Expo, presented by ACMA and SAMPE. This year, as many industry events were postponed or canceled, CAMX made the move to an all-virtual conference complete with a full conference program, trade show and networking.

“The industry comes together at CAMX,” says Kevin Barnett, interim president and CEO of ACMA. “Although we were unable to gather in person this year, CAMX 2020 still provided the education, networking and industry connections so many have come to expect from this event.”

Dynamic Speakers Share Industry Insight

One aspect of CAMX that remained constant as the conference made the virtual move was the valuable input provided by keynote speakers.  Three separate keynote presentations were given at CAMX this year, offering a variety of industry expertise and insight.

“CAMX prides itself on providing our attendees access to industry experts from a variety of market segments,” says Zane Clark, CEO of SAMPE North America and secretary of SAMPE Global. “We were especially excited about the caliber and variety of speakers during this year’s event.”

First up was CAMX Opening Keynote Speaker Jim Bridenstine, the 13th administrator of NASA.  Bridenstine discussed NASA’s agenda and goals, as well as how composites and advanced materials can play a key role going forward.


“At NASA, we have a big agenda: to sustainably go to the moon,” Bridenstine said as he began his presentation. Bridenstine noted that commercial partners will be needed to achieve NASA’s objectives, and that the goals of the program could take us to new heights in the arena of composites. To do so, materials will need to be developed, advanced and sustained. However, Bridenstine pointed out that there will have to be a way to make costs manageable in order to make development possible.

Administrator Bridenstine also noted NASA’s commitment to advancing composites usage through public/private partnerships to identify and overcome challenges and streamline timing from development to certification.  He posed the question, “How do we compress the timeline?”

During the General Session, CAMX welcomed Isabell Gradert, material fast track leader at Airbus and general advisor for materials technology to the CTO. Gradert’s presentation centered on Airbus’ commitment to sustainability. “We believe there will be no industry profit without climate protection,” Gradert said.  “Preserving our planet is not a ‘nice to have’ but rather a prerequisite for sustainable growth of the aviation industry.”