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Introduction to Composites Fabrication and Assembly in Aerospace, Space, and Transportation C1311

The challenges associated with using composites as a replacement for aluminum reside primarily in the complex manufacturing processes and technologies for fabricating composite parts. The high cost of composites material and its manufacturing complexity have been inhibitors to the wide transfer of this technology to the non-aerospace market. The search for solutions to high manufacturing costs and efficient manufacturing processes have resulted in intense research by government, aerospace industry companies, and space agencies worldwide.

This one day seminar will introduce participants to composites technologies that have applications beyond aerospace, including such markets as trucks, automobiles, and wind turbines. The instructor will define, illustrate, and describe the innovative manufacturing processes and technologies that have been used to solve the “composite challenge” for aerospace and space vehicles. The information presented in this seminar, derived from the successful application and demonstration of these technologies and processes on flight hardware, will serve to provide solutions for the manufacturing processes and technology challenges that have slowed the migration of this technology beyond the aerospace and space industries.

Attendees will receive a copy of the textbook, Automated/Mechanized Drilling and Countersinking of Airframes, by instructor George (Nick) Bullen.

Learning Objectives
By attending this seminar, you will be able to:
  • Define the current state of composites manufacturing
  • Evaluate critical emerging technologies that will enable expansion of composites
  • Identify innovative manufacturing processes that enable low cost composite manufacturing
  • Determine the critical features for successful composite part assembly
  • Evaluate the key characteristics of various composites manufacturing processes

Who Should Attend
This seminar is intended for individuals looking for information related to efficient solutions for composites manufacturing and includes engineering disciplines from manufacturing, design, industrial, tooling, quality, and mechanical. In addition, non-engineering management and staff will benefit from information presented in this seminar.

There are no prerequisites for the course.

  • Composites in Aerospace and Space Launch Vehicles
    • Introduction
    • Advantages
    • Disadvantages
    • Design Considerations
    • Manufacturing Considerations
  • Composites in Inhabited and Uninhabited Aerial and Space Vehicles
    • Introduction
    • Advantages
    • Disadvantages
    • Design Considerations
    • Manufacturing Considerations
  • Max Launch Abort System (MLAS): An Example of Innovation
    • Concept of Operations
    • Major Structural Components
    • Innovative Manufacturing of Structural Components
  • Quality Assessment (Parts)
    • Introduction
    • Forensic Engineering
    • MLAS Forensic Engineering
    • Collecting Data
    • Defect Determination (Cause)
    • Defect Resolution (Corrective Action)
  • Vehicle Assembly
    • Innovative Assembly Process
    • Mass Properties Alignment
    • Assembly Fit and Function
  • Vehicle Flight or Launch
    • Transport
    • Launch Stand
    • Performance
  • Recovery
    • Retrieval
    • Forensics
    • Composites Performance Assessment
  • Future Applications
    • Unified Structure
    • In-situ Manufacturing
    • In-flight and In-Space Composite Concerns and Considerations
    • ALTAIR
  • Extensibility
    • Road Vehicles
    • Wind Turbines
    • Lifting and Support Devices

George (Nick) Bullen

Mr. Nick Bullen is the President and CEO of Smart Blades, Inc. Located in Oxnard, California, Smart Blades designs and develops highly efficient wind turbine blades and modular facilities for in-situ wind turbine blade manufacturing. Previously, Mr. Bullen was Principal Engineer, Technical Fellow, and Technical Expert for Advanced Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Programs for Northrop Grumman Corporation. His expertise includes inhabited and uninhabited aerial vehicles, space vehicle design and manufacture, laser weapon system design and manufacture, and Lean processes and applications. Mr. Bullen has been awarded 16 US and International patents for technology innovations related to manufacturing, mechanization, robotics, robotics control software and nuclear testing/quality devices that are the basis for all current automated systems used for the assembly of airframes in the US and Europe. Mr. Bullen is a Fellow in the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and is certified in Production and Inventory Control Management. He actively serves and maintains membership on academic boards of several major universities, is a member of the steering committees of professional societies including SAE and SME, and is founder of the International Aerospace Automation Consortium. He also is a board member of the RFID supply chain governing body, EPC Global. A widely published author in magazines, proceedings, journals and peer review journals, he received the AIAA Design Engineering Award in 2000 for Significant Advances in Aerospace Engineering. Mr. Bullen received his BSMG degree from Pepperdine University, an MBA from Loyola Marymount University, and is currently finishing his PhD in Decision Sciences, Engineering Research.

Hotel & Travel Information

Fees: $920.00
SAE Members: $736.00 - $828.00

.7 CEUs
You must complete all course contact hours and successfully pass the learning assessment to obtain CEUs.

To register, click Register button at the top of this page and submit the online form, or contact SAE Customer Service at 1-877-606-7323 (724/776-4970 outside the U.S. and Canada) or at

Duration: 1 Day
June 20, 2018 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.) - Hamburg, Germany   Delivered in   English