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Wednesday, June 2 • 12:30 - 13:30
Composites Challenge: Pitching Session

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A PhD Challenge dedicated to the Composites Industry: A 1-hour program from brilliant minds for a brilliant industry!

Composites Challenge is a competition of PhDs selected for the quality of their research in the field of composites, who get the challenge of pitching their thesis in 5 minutes using one slide, in front of a jury of experts in the Composites Industry!

11 PhD Students represent the next generation of Composites leaders. This program is a unique opportunity to source new ideas and maybe new people to join your teams!

  • Christophe BINETRUY, ECCM19 General Chair & Professor, Centrales Nantes
  • Christian-Andre KEUN, President of SAMPE Europe & CEO, CompriseTec
  • Lucien FIORE Asia Pacific Business Development Director, Hexcel
  • Véronique MICHAUD, Head of Laboratory for Processing of Advanced Composites (LPAC), EPFL
  • Jean-Marc SENECOT, Global Head of R&D, Porcher Industries


From Pressure to Geometry: a scalable method for realistic textiles reconstruction, by Simone BANCORA from Ecole Centrale Nantes
We propose a method to reconstruct the architecture of a dry preform based on simple data acquisition. As the laminate is compacted, a pressure-sensitive film is used to capture the mechanical signature of the layup. Using this information the mesoscale geometry of the preform is interpreted.

Structural power composites for massless energy storageby Karl BOUTON from KTH
Structural power composites are a new kind of multifunctional composites. Among them, structural batteries consist in light structural CFRP composites capable of storing energy. These new materials could reduce the conventional heavy battery packs’ weight penalties by giving the future electric aircrafts’ structure some energy storage capabilities.

CANs: Reversibly Crosslinked Polymers and the Future of Composites, by Callum BRANFOOT from University of Bristol 
Covalent adaptable networks (CANs) are crosslinked polymers comprising a dynamic chemistry which allows their selective and reversible de-crosslinking. In this research, all aspects of CANs are investigated, ranging from their synthesis to their use as recyclable and repairable composite matrices.

Autonomous healing and indication of cracks in fiber-reinforced composites, by Kelly CHANG from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 
We introduce an elegant pathway to reducing high maintenance costs by dispersing microcapsules containing a dye and liquid healing agent in our composites. These capsules can extend the lifespan of composites while alleviating the challenges associated with locating damage

Spreading of carbon fibre/thermoplastic pre-preg tapes, by Gearoid CLANCY from University of Limerick
Varying the width of pre-preg tapes can eliminate defects in complex composite structures. Current methods struggle to produce doubly curved surfaces such as aircraft noses without gaps or overlaps. An improved method, utilized with automated tape placement, can spread pre-preg tapes eliminating gaps and overlaps, boosting the efficiency of complex structures.

WrapToR composite truss structures, by Christopher HUNT from University of Bristol
Wrapped Tow Reinforced (WrapToR) trusses combine the structurally favourable geometry of trusses with the impressive material properties of composites to form ultra-efficient structural members. The research is focused on developing the technology through understanding and improvement of the manufacturing process and the establishment of analytical techniques to predict structural behaviour.

From Brittle to Tough – Damage Tolerance of Core-Shell Rubber and Block Copolymer Toughened CFRP, by Andreas KLINGLER from TU Kaiserslautern / IVW
The research project aims at extending the fundamental understanding how toughness is transferred from a nano phase modified thermoset (up to 28 vol.-%) to a fibre reinforced composite. Subsequently the key aspects to obtain tough and damage tolerant thermosetting CFRPs by the sole modification of the matrix are identified.

Design and Optimization of Hybrid Truss Structures, by Nicolas LAVALETTE from TU Delft
My research focuses on the design and optimization of truss structures made of pultruded CFRP members. For this purpose, an aluminum-CFRP adhesive joint is designed to efficiently connect the truss members. The strength and weight of the joints are then taken into account within the truss optimization algorithm.

Improving the water durability of flax fibre composites by using non-dry fibre, by Maria-Morissa LU from KU Leuven
Water sorption of natural fibre composites leads to the swelling and shrinkage of the fibre, which results in a reduction of the mechanical properties and dimensional stability of the composites. Water durability of composites is enhanced by using non-dry flax fibre and resins that have low sensitivity to moisture.

Used wind turbines: A recycling solution, by Amirmohammad RAHIMIZADEH from McGill University
Our goal is to create an efficient recycling scheme to extract glass fibers from used wind turbine blades and reuse them in new added value products. Through micromechanical characterization, the optimum design parameters for an efficient composite from the recycled fibers are obtained and used to develop recycled composite pellets and 3D printing filaments with exceptional properties.


Speakers, Jury Members & Final...
avatar for Christophe BINETRUY

Christophe BINETRUY

ECCM19 General Chair & Professor, Ecole Centrale de Nantes
Christophe Binetruy is faculty member at Centrale Nantes (France) where he is Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Institute of Civil Engineering and Mechanics (GeM). He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Lille (France) in 1996 and his Habilitation... Read More →
avatar for Lucien FIORE

Lucien FIORE

Asia Pacific Business Development Director, Hexcel
Lucien FIORE, graduate from Ecole Centrale de LYON (PhD in 1988 in Mechanics and Materials Science), is actually Asia Pacific Business Development Director in HEXCEL.Lucien FIORE joined HEXCEL in August 1989 and has started his career in R&D as Engineer and Qualification Manager for... Read More →
avatar for Christian-Andre KEUN

Christian-Andre KEUN

President of SAMPE Europe & CEO, ComprisTec
After studying mechanical engineering in Hamburg, St-Etienne and St. Petersburg, he completed his doctorate at the Technical University Hamburg-Harburg. This was followed by the management of the research and development department of a major plastics processor. Christian finally... Read More →
avatar for Véronique MICHAUD

Véronique MICHAUD

Head of Laboratory for Processing of Advanced Composites, EPFL
Véronique Michaud is currently Associate Professor and head of the Laboratory for Processing of Advanced Composites, and Associate Dean of Engineering for Education, at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, in Switzerland. She graduated in 1987 from Ecole des Mines in Paris... Read More →
avatar for Jean-Marc SENECOT


Global Head of R&D, Porcher Industries
Your Biography / Company Profile (in English and not more than 150 words)Jean-Marc Senecot, the Global Head of R&D, joined Porcher Industries group in 2017 with his strong expertise in glass and carbon reinforcement, particularly acquired for thermoplastic & thermoset composites solutions... Read More →
avatar for Simone BANCORA


PhD Student, Ecole Centrale Nantes
After completing the first part of his education in Italy, in 2016 Simone Bancora took up the opportunity of an international Double Degree program between his home university Politecnico of Milan and Ecole Centrale Nantes in France. During these years he became invested in the study... Read More →
avatar for Karl BOUTON


PhD Student, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Born in France, Karl has always developed a strong interest in Science and Technology. Logically, he pursued engineering studies and graduated with an Engineer’s Diploma in Materials Engineering and a Master of Science in Materials Mechanics. In 2017, Karl got enrolled as a PhD... Read More →
avatar for Callum BRANFOOT


PhD Student, University of Bristol
Callum was born in Lymington, Hampshire but spent most of his youth amongst the rolling hills of Wiltshire, where at school he discovered a passion for science and a particular penchant for the colours of chemistry.In 2012, he started an integrated Master's degree in Chemistry at... Read More →
avatar for Kelly CHANG


PhD Student, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Kelly Chang is a graduate research assistant in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Chang earned her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and B.A. in Business from the University of Rochester in 2017... Read More →
avatar for Gearóid CLANCY

Gearóid CLANCY

PhD Student, University of Limerick
I am proud to say that I am from Limerick, a city in the west of Ireland. I completed my Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Limerick in 2013.My first job after university was a research assistant at the Irish Composites Centre, where I gained a... Read More →
avatar for Christopher HUNT

Christopher HUNT

PhD Student, University of Bristol
Chris was awarded his MEng in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Bristol in 2015. During the final year of his Masters, he published work investigating the effects of varying cure cycles on pre-impregnated composite materials. Following the master program, in 2016 he started... Read More →
avatar for Andreas KLINGLER


PhD Student, University of Kaiserslautern (Institute for Composite Materials)
Andreas is from the Rhine-Main area in Germany and started his studies about mechanical engineering at the University of Kaiserslautern in 2007. He finished his degree in 2014 with his diploma thesis about the synthesis and characterization of Nickle-PTFE composites at the University... Read More →
avatar for Nicolas LAVALETTE


PhD Student, TU Delft
Graduated with an Engineering Diploma from ENSEM (France) and a MSc. in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech (USA). After having worked in Paris in the car equipment industry for one year, I am now in the final year of my PhD at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering of TU Delft... Read More →
avatar for Maria Morissa LU

Maria Morissa LU

PhD Student, KU Leuven
Maria Morissa Lu is a 3rd year PhD student at the Department of Materials Engineering, KU Leuven, Belgium. Her research topic is on Improving the water durability of flax fibre composites by using non-dry fibre which is funded by the EU-H2020 BBI project “SSUCHY” and the University... Read More →
avatar for Amirmohammad	RAHIMIZADEH

Amirmohammad RAHIMIZADEH

PhD Student, McGill University
Amirmohammad Rahimizadeh is a PhD candidate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at McGill University. He completed his bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering at Amirkabir University of Technology, Iran and his Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering at McGill University... Read More →

Presenters & Moderators
avatar for Amael COHADES (EPFL)


Postdoctoral Researcher, EPFL
avatar for Jason PALMER


Journalist, The Economist
Jason Palmer is the host of The Intelligence, The Economist’s daily podcast. He is a former physicist and science journalist (BBC, New Scientist), and was a 2013/4 Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT.

Wednesday June 2, 2021 12:30 - 13:30 CEST
Agora Stage (Hall 5 - E98)