Media Release | Feb 27, 2013

Boeing joins the University of British Columbia in composite materials research

Boeing [NYSE: BA] has become the founding industrial member of the University of British Columbia’s Composites Research Network (CRN), working with Canadian scientists to turn new discoveries in composite manufacturing into practical applications.

Dr. Anoush Poursartip, director of UBC’s Composites Research Network (CRN), of which Boeing has become the founding industrial member. (Martin Dee photo.)

“Boeing’s long-standing research relationship with our university makes it fitting that Boeing is the founding industrial member of CRN,” says CRN Director Anoush Poursartip of the University of British Columbia’s Department of Materials Engineering. “Boeing will provide significant guidance and support to a research centre that is based on an equal partnership between the creation of knowledge and its practice.”

The CRN will collaborate with other composite initiatives, such as the Canadian Composites Manufacturing Research and Development Consortium hosted by the Composites Innovation Centre in Manitoba. The collaborations support a vibrant Canadian composites industry that includes companies and manufacturers of all sizes and expertise.

“This collaboration has the potential to generate new applications of composite processing technology not only within Canada’s aerospace industry, but in other fields such as the automotive and resources sectors,” says William Lyons, director of Global Technology at Boeing Research & Technology.

Established in 2012 with an investment of $9.84 million from Western Economic Diversification Canada, the CRN consists of a Vancouver hub based at the University of British Columbia’s Vancouver campus; a Kelowna node based at the UBC’s Okanagan campus; a Victoria node, based at the University of Victoria; and a Manitoba node, based at the Composites Innovation Centre in Winnipeg. Future nodes are planned for Alberta and Saskatchewan.

“Our government views innovation as key to creating jobs and growing our economy. By working collaboratively with academia and the private sector, we are helping to create a more prosperous future for the West and all Canadians,” says the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification. “I would like to welcome Boeing to the Network and look forward to seeing the new ideas that come out of this important collaboration.”

"This is another unique development to celebrate for the province's aerospace industry in research and innovation. It will create important jobs for British Columbians, a provincial priority we support through efforts outlined in Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan,” says Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour with the Government of British Columbia. “We are pleased to have helped promote the Composites Research Network and applaud them on acquiring their first Tier 1 membership from Boeing.”


ErinRose Handy
UBC Faculty of Applied Science

Suzana Topic
University of British Columbia
Manager, Composites Research Network
+1 604-822-6178

Tags: APSC, Community engagement, engineering, industry, Research excellence

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