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The International Yacht Restoration School, with campuses in Newport and Bristol, will launch a full-time Composites Technology Program in 2010, teaching both hands-on practical skills and the theory behind composites processes and applications.
The program is targeted to meet the needs of the marine industry, but IYRS say that graduates will have a choice of career paths since the high strength-to-weight ratio of composite materials is in demand by many industries, including wind energy, aerospace, and transportation.
“”The Composites Technology Program rounds out our offerings as a technical training institute for the marine industry. The program uses the same in-depth, intensive educational model that has earned our programs an international reputation for excellence,”” said IYRS President Terry Nathan. “”Technical experts agree that the marine industry’s increased use of advanced composites can give birth to the type of innovative products that can reinvigorate the industry; the IYRS program is designed to attract and train the inventive practitioners who can help lead the way.””
The Composites Technology Program will be offered at the school’s teaching facility in Bristol (R.I.) beginning in September 2010. The nine-month program gives students a foundation in composites processes, techniques, and technology—ranging from general composites that employ glass fibre and polyester resin, to advanced composites that employ high-strength/high-modulus fibres and advanced resin systems. The program places a stronger emphasis on advanced composites, which are generally greener because they produce less emissions in the manufacturing process.
According to Bob Lacovara, former technical director of the American Composites Manufacturers Association and founder of Pennsylvania-based Convergent Composites who consulted with IYRS on the development of the program: “”This program is absolutely unique—from the standpoint that it vertically integrates all the skills needed to move forward in the emerging composites industry.””
To develop the program, IYRS formed an Industry Advisory Council comprised of 18 individuals with expertise in the marine industry, the composites industry, and general business. The committee includes representation from organizations such as the American Composites Manufacturers Association, the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC), and marine-industry leaders such as Hall Spars & Rigging and New England Boatworks.
“We are thrilled that the International Yacht Restoration School has developed an advanced composites program,” said Paul Harden, Manager, Business and Workforce Development at the RIEDC. “This program has an opportunity to benefit both the marine trades and other types of industries that use composites, such as wind blade manufacturing and transportation applications.””
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