Medal of Excellence in Composites Awarded to Two Pioneers

25 July 2008

The University of Delaware Center for Composite Materials has awarded the 2008 Medal of Excellence in Composite Materials to Dr. Alan Miller of the Boeing Company and Dr. Takahashi Ishikawa of the Japan Aerospace Exploratory Agency.

The Medals were conferred at the 13th U.S. Japan Conference on Composite Materials, held In Tokyo from June 6-7.

“It is very appropriate that this year’s Medals are being presented at an international conference sponsored by professional societies in Japan and the United States,” said CCM Director Jack Gillespie, “as they are being awarded to two very accomplished individuals in the composites field—one from each of those countries.”

The Medal was established in 1984 to mark CCM’s decennial celebration. Since then, it has been awarded to a total of 28 individuals from the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Designed by Charles Parks, a local sculptor with an international reputation, the Medal is a bronze casting bearing the likenesses of the four initial recipients. It was created to honour those who have achieved outstanding leadership in the field of composites.

Al Miller is credited with making extraordinary contributions to research and development activities in the field of composite materials and structures at the Boeing Company. Director of Technology Integration for the 787 Dreamliner program, he oversees the efforts to develop key technologies for aerodynamics, structures, materials, systems, payloads, noise, environment, quality, and manufacturing and to transition them into practice on the Dreamliner. These efforts are carried out in cooperation with a global alliance of partners and suppliers from North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Miller is on the Executive Board of the FAA Center of Excellence at the University of Washington–Advanced Materials for Transport Aircraft Structures. He is also a member of the SAMPE Europe Scientific Committee. Prior to joining the 787 team, Miller was Senior Manager for Manufacturing and Quality Technology & Product Development for Commercial Airplanes Manufacturing Research and Development.

""This honour recognizes the accomplishments of the talented team members from Boeing, our partners, and our suppliers who are making the 787 a reality,"" Miller said when he learned he had been selected.

Takahashi Ishikawa is the leading figure in the field of composite materials in Japan. He has played a leadership role in the Japan Society for Composite Materials and has held positions of increasing responsibility within the Japan Aerospace Exploratory Agency, where he currently serves as Director of the Aviation Program Group. Ishikawa also holds adjunct faculty positions in four Japanese universities. He has had a very prolific record of scholarship in the field of composite materials, including authoring or co-authoring three books and more than sixty archival publications in the Japanese literature and thirty in English. Ishikawa has served as Editor in Chief of Advanced Composite Materials and Journal of Japan Society for Aeronautical and Space Sciences; he has also been a member of the Editorial Board of Composite Science and Technology and a member of the Honorary Advisory Board of Comprehensive Composite Materials.

Ishikawa credits his stay at the University of Delaware from 1980—1982, when he worked with Prof. Tsu-Wei Chou, with triggering his interest in the mechanics of textile composites.

“After I came back to Japan,” he says, “I pursued the practical problems of aircraft composite structures, such as mechanics of compression after impact and high load stiffener crippling. Parallel to such research work, I also devoted myself to enlarging the research capability of the JAXA Advanced Composite Center in terms of both human resources and facilities. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to CCM for their cooperation over the years and for choosing me to receive the Medal.”

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