Bredesen Center students Philip Barnett and Alex Stiles along with 7 other attendees from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville attended the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE) annual conference in May. Dr. Dayakar Penumadu and Dr. Uday Vaidya were the advisors for the team, and 14 UT SAMPE members in total contributed to the work presented at the conference.
Attendance at the SAMPE conference represents a great opportunity for students to develop professional networks and learn about current academic and industry research efforts at one of the largest gatherings of the composites industry in the world. The conference also hosts student build competitions and a golf tournament, in addition to tours, poster sessions, and presentations.
The bridge competitions requires students to produce two-foot-long beams made of high-strength fibers and compete for strongest and lightest bridges. The UT student chapter of SAMPE is currently in its inaugural year, and this is only the second year that UT students have competed in the bridge competitions. They competed in five of the contests this year.
The UT team placed 3rd in the glass fiber square bridge category, 4th in the recycled carbon fiber bridge category, and 5th in the open design category, in which their submission featured a 3-D structural printed bridge through a collaboration with Local Motors, the first of its kind ever produced. In the sandwich panel category, their poster placed 2nd overall. The fifth competition was an inaugural fuselage contest, in which no places were awarded but the UT team was the only team to meet all of the requirements and ranked highest in the design category.
Sponsors for the attendees include:
- IACMI (the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation) at ORNL
- Fibers and Composites Manufacturing Facility and Engineering Annex at the University of Tennessee
- Fab Lab at the University of Tennessee
- Local Motors
Material donations: Pro-Set Epoxy; Airtech, Altair, Advanced Glassfiber Yarns (AGY Holding Corp.), Chomarat, Tuftco, Carbon Conversions, Celtig
Travel Funding: Student Organization Travel Fund, Graduate Student Senate Travel Award