CPAC colloquium to feature composite industry thought leaders

Published: Feb 25, 2020 12:00 PM

By Jeremy Henderson

On March 6, Auburn University's Center for Polymers and Advanced Composites (CPAC) will convene thought leaders in composites from companies like Boeing and Lockheed-Martin.

Sponsored by NASA, the center's first colloquium will feature presentations from John Tomblin, executive director of the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR), J.D. McFarlan III, vice president of functional engineering at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, and John Vickers, principal technologist for NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate, with a keynote address by Laura Bogusch, Boeing's vice president of materials and manufacturing technology.

"The caliber of speakers we have coming is phenomenal," said CPAC director Maria Auad, the W. Allen and Martha Reed professor in chemical engineering. "Attendees are going to have a much clearer vision for the future of composites, which of course aligns perfectly with the center's mission."

Established in 2015, CPAC has become a regional leader in polymer and composite engineering by harnessing opportunities for research, graduate education and collaborative outreach to advance economic growth in Alabama and the Southeast. Headquartered in the newly renovated Gavin Engineering Research Laboratory, the center offers broad expertise in development, manufacturing and testing of polymers and composites.

"Travel to the moon and Mars will require transformative performance improvements that are enabled by advanced composites," Vickers said regarding NASA’s involvement with CPAC. "Advanced technologies power exploration and NASA hopes to explore these exciting new materials and manufacturing capabilities through partnerships with researchers in academia and industry." 

"We are looking forward to facilitating interactions between industrial, government and private representatives, and to showcase our students and facilities," Auad said. "It's going to be a big day for us."

Learn more about the 2020 CPAC Annual Colloquium here.

Media Contact: Jeremy Henderson,, 334-844-3591

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