Paris, June 2, 2021 – The winners of the JEC Composites Innovation Awards, Startup Booster and Composites challenge have been revealed during the All-in-one Awards ceremony held Wednesday, June 2nd during JEC Composites Connect. These competitions reward the best cutting-edge and ingenious projects using composites to their full potential in different categories every year.

Gearóid Clancy, a PhD student at the School of Engineering and the Bernal Institute, UL won the JEC Composites Challenge 2021.  Composites Challenge is a competition between PhD students, sourced and selected for their research in the field of composites. They get the challenge of pitching their thesis in 5 minutes, using one slide, in front of a jury composed of industrial and academic experts. 10 PhDs were selected from all over the world for this edition, among the dozens of applications received.

Gearóid’s presentation focused upon a process that he designed and tested, which can change the width (spread) of carbon fibre pre-preg tapes as they are laid into position, eliminating a major problem with manufacturing complex components such as aircraft noses and engine casings.  This novel manufacturing method will enable the production of components that are more structurally efficient, i.e., lighter but not weaker, leading to a reduction in carbon emissions and increasing distance aircraft can fly without refueling.

Bernal Chair of Composite Materials and Science Foundation Ireland Research Professor Paul Weaver congratulated Gearóid for winning the competition; “JEC is the world’s premier industrially-focused exhibition. Spreading composite tapes provides great scope for improving the manufacturing quality and structural integrity of many components, from wind turbine blade through aircraft wings to rocket noses. This fantastic personal achievement for Gearoid reflects the ambition and expertise in composite material technologies at the Bernal Institute, University of Limerick.”

Gearóid is supervised by Dr Ronan O’Higgins, School of Engineering, University of Limerick and Professor Paul Weaver, Bernal Chair of Composite Materials.

JEC Group is the world’s leading company dedicated entirely to developing information and business connections channels and platforms supporting the composite materials industry’s growth and promotion. Publisher of the JEC Composites Magazine – the industry’s reference magazine, JEC Group drives global innovation programs and organizes several events globally, including JEC World (the top and world-leading international exhibition dedicated to composite materials and their applications).

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