Next MSU symposium to focus on composites in transportation

Contact: Leah Barbour

STARKVILLE, Miss.--The first Composites in Transportation Symposium at Mississippi State will bring together industry, government and education officials to discuss how best to advance composite technologies.

The March 14 and 15 meeting in the Colvard Student Union's Foster Ballroom "U" is designed to give participants a forum to address some of the barriers that may prevent them from developing complex composites.

The university's Raspet Flight Research Laboratory, James Worth Bagley College of Engineering and Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems are event sponsors.

Land, sea and air transportation modes have come to rely more and more on composite materials because they improve performance and, over time, lower costs. Composites can offer a range of advantages, including lighter weight, higher strength, corrosion resistance and more flexible design capabilities.

Raspet Lab leaders, organizers of the symposium, will provide diverse expertise accumulated from a long tradition of work with industry and government to manufacture and test composite structures.

In addition to visiting with MSU engineering faculty and researchers, participants will tour the Raspet Lab at Starkville's Bryan Field and the CAVS facility in the Cochran Research Park. Raspet director Ratan Jha will lead a presentation on how to improve collaboration through research centers and consortium structures.

Additionally, retired Air Force Maj. Gen. James O. Poss will chair a panel of industry leaders from around the state, including representatives from ATK in Iuka, Aurora Flight Sciences in Columbus and Richardson Molding Inc. in Philadelphia, among others.

Poss is director of strategic initiatives at the MSU High Performance Computing Collaboratory unit at the Stennis Space Center in Hancock County.

MSU faculty representatives will lead symposium programs, including:

--Aerospace engineering professor Tom Lacy, "Multi-Scale Modeling of Multifunctional Composites."

--Chemical engineering associate professor and endowed professor Hossein Toghiani, "Synthesis of Bio- and Multifunctional Composites."

--Mechanical engineering professor Judy Schneider, "Characterization of Composites."

--Aerospace engineering professor Masoud Rais-Rohani, "Design and Optimization of Composite Structures."

--CAVS research professor Paul Want, "Manufacturing and Testing at CAVS."

--Aerospace engineering associate professor Rani Sullivan, "Static/Dynamic Testing and Health Monitoring of Composite Structures."

For more about the Composites in Transportation Symposium, visit or call 662-325-8500.

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