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The 2012 J.H. (Jud) Hall Composites Manufacturing Award from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers award was presented to Jon DeVault at Composites Manufacturing 2012, in Mesa, Arizona, US, on March 14.
DeVault was introduced at the awards ceremony by Jack Gillespie, Director of the University of Delaware Center for Composite Materials (CCM), who received the same honour in 2000. The award is given annually to an individual who has “contributed to the composites manufacturing profession through leadership, technical developments, patents, or educational activities.”
CCM explain that as an employee at Hercules in the 1970s, DeVault helped found CCM’s industrial consortium. Later, in the 1990s, he supported CCM’s involvement in programs funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), including the use of composites in infrastructure applications.
“Under Jon’s leadership,” Gillespie said, “Hercules became the largest supplier of graphite materials to the Department of Defense, as well as a manufacturer of composite structures. He was also instrumental in developing the automated fibre placement manufacturing technology and in expanding the composites business worldwide.”
CCM say that Gillespie not only enumerated DeVault’s many accomplishments and leadership roles but also shared comments about him from other giants in the composites field, including three with connections to UD.
Former Dean of Engineering, Byron Pipes, a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), referred to DeVault as the champion of a “new miracle material”—high tensile strength carbon fibre—in the early 1970s when boron filament was the state of the art.
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