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K-State Today

August 21, 2023

Summer workshop showcases advanced composites for aerospace industry

Submitted by Sailesh Menon

Workshop attendees

Building on prior successful meetings, the sixth annual National Science Foundation Partnerships for International Research and Education, or PIRE, Polymer Derived Ceramics, or PDC, workshop was held in conjunction with graduate school Technische Universität Darmstadt, or TU-D, from June 26-July 1, in Austria.

The K-State portion of the workshop was led by Gurpreet Singh, Harold O. and Jane C. Massey Neff professor in the Alan Levin Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering in the Carl R. Ice. College of Engineering. The European portion of the workshop was led by Ralf Riedel, professor from TU-D. Three European research institutes participated in the workshop: Technische Universität Darmstadt, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, or KIT, and DECHEMA Research Institute, or DFI. 

Singh is the principal investigator who was awarded the National Science Foundation Partnerships for International Research and Education grant for his work on polymer derived ceramics. The project focus is to build research and education programs related to precursor derived ceramic-fibers and ceramic matrix composites, or CMCs, science and technology.

"The aim of the research training group funded by the German Science Foundation Materials Compounds from Composite Materials is to develop new types of composites that allow the temperatures of combustion engines and processes to rise sharply under extreme environmental conditions," Riedel said.

The research training group is a joint project of the KIT, led by Professor Martin Heilmaier and TU-D, led by Riedel. DFI, led by Mathias Galetz, is involved in the project.

"For this year's workshop, we collaborated with our project partners from Germany," Singh said. "It was a great learning experience for everyone involved. It was wonderful to see our workshop draw interest from researchers across the globe."

The workshop covered topics in the field of CMCs, innovative materials science via machine learning, additive manufacturing of ceramic composites, and other ultrahigh-temperature materials for aerospace applications. The novel materials produced through this project have a wide variety of defense applications. Industry participation was represented by attendees from Spirit Aerosystems and the General Electric company, while Air Force Research Laboratory, Ohio represented collaboration with the U.S. national lab.

"I am very excited for the future of CMC aerospace materials and the camaraderie that being part of such a huge collaboration brings," Singh said.

For more information about PIRE and related innovations visit k-state.edu/pire/ or call 785-532-7085.