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New leadership for the Bristol Composites Institute

Professor Ole Thomsen and Professor Stephen Hallett are the new co-directors.

14 September 2021

Professor Michael Wisnom will step down from his role as Director of the Bristol Composites Institute in September 2021. The Institute welcomes new co-directors, Professor Ole Thomsen and Professor Stephen Hallett.

Having led the Bristol Composites Institute since its inception in 2017, following 10 years of successfully building and leading its predecessor Advanced Composites Centre for Innovation and Science (known as ACCIS), Professor Wisnom will be stepping down as Director in September 2021. Professor Ole Thomsen and Professor Stephen Hallett have been appointed as new co-directors of the Institute.

Professor Wisnom's work and leadership have placed the University of Bristol at the forefront of international composites research. The Institute has grown to encompass a core team of 30 academic staff and 200+ research staff and postgraduate students based in the Faculty of Engineering, with further academic staff affiliated to Bristol Composites Institute from Schools across the University. Strong and close relationships with many partners, especially with the National Composites Centre and Rolls-Royce via the Composites University Technology Centre (UTC) have been established during Professor Wisnom's leadership. He continues his role in the Institute as Professor of Aerospace Structures on a part-time basis.

The new co-directors will be building on a strong legacy of global research and innovation that is informed by the needs of our industrial partners and our changing world. At an exciting time for technology development across many sectors, the Institute will continue to set the agenda in advanced composites and materials engineering.

Professor Ole Thomsen is the NCC Chair in Composites Design and Manufacture at the Bristol Composites Institute, University of Bristol and the National Composites Centre. Professor Thomsen’s main research interests are the design and experimental and computational characterisation of lightweight composite structures.

Professor Stephen Hallett is a Professor in Composite Structures at the University of Bristol where he is currently Deputy Director of the Bristol Composites Institute and Director of the Rolls-Royce supported UTC. His principal research interests are composite failure mechanisms; computational models for composites mechanical performance and manufacturing processes; textile composites; and impact and high rate effects.

As co-directors Professors Thomsen and Hallett will lead the Bristol Composites Institute forwards into a world where the value of composites research and their potential to solve global challenges is becoming increasingly understood.

"We are delighted and honoured to be appointed jointly as directors of the Bristol Composites Institute. Professor Michael Wisnom has done a truly outstanding job in founding the Institute and developing it to its status as a world-leading institute for composites research. We wish to thank Michael for his unprecedented devotion and great service in the success story of Bristol Composites Institute. We look forward to developing the Institute even further, in close collaboration with BCI staff and students, the Faculty and University, and not least our colleagues at the NCC and our industrial partners."

Read more in the press release.

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