On September 22, 2022, Composites Research Network (CRN) celebrated its 10-year anniversary with a one-day hybrid symposium featuring panel discussions, networking, a tour of the Advanced Materials and Process Engineering Laboratory (AMPEL) at The University of British Columbia (UBC), and a formal dedication of the Boeing 777X wing sculpture.
An initiative of UBC, CRN launched in 2012 with funding from the Canadian Federal Government and The Boeing Company, and joined by Toray Industries and Convergent Manufacturing Technologies. With ongoing support from partners, members and funders, CRN is a network of stakeholders across Canada committed to composites knowledge, creation, translation and application.
The symposium, Composites Manufacturing: Increasingly Diverse and Digital, explored the evolution and the future of composites manufacturing from a technical, societal and personal perspective.
Digital technologies in the form of simulation, sensing, automation and virtualization are on the verge of disruptively transforming the enterprise. The first panel on Digitalizing the Enterprise – Separating Reality from Hype, Focusing on Value and Success, discussed what digitization means for both large and small companies.
The second panel, Sustainability – New Materials and Processes for Net-Zero in Production and in-Service, with End-of-Life Considerations, explored opportunities for introducing new materials and processes to both aerospace and non-aerospace sectors.
With diversity, equity, and inclusivity of the workforce a priority that is becoming even more urgent, the final panel looked at Diversity in STEM: from preschool to the CTO Office and shared learnings. The steady rate of retirements of highly experienced personnel, as well as the changing demographics, shifting work patterns and priorities of future generations demand changes to how companies create supportive and welcoming environments.
The day’s events included a tour of AMPEL at UBC, the formal unveiling of the Boeing 777X wing sculpture, and the presentation of the CRN Distinguished Advisor Award to Dr. Karl Nelson, Technical Fellow, The Boeing Company. Wrapping up, the in-person attendees celebrated CRN’s 10 years with a reception held at Cecil Green Park House.