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Composites for Future Resilience – Bristol Composites Institute annual conference

11 November 2021

The 14th annual Bristol Composites Institute conference was held virtually on 9 November 2021. Sustainability was one of the key themes at this year's conference that attracted over 250 attendees from six continents.

The conference began with a welcome and introduction1 from the Bristol Composites Institute's new Co-Directors, Professors Ole Thomsen and Stephen Hallett. This was followed by Dr Enrique Garcia from the National Composites Centre who gave a presentation about the recent activities at the NCC2.

After the NCC update, we celebrated our achievements as we listened to research updates from the three themes within the Institute; Manufacturing & Design3, Materials4, and Structures5.

Our first keynote speaker, Professor Valeska Ting, talked about the role of hydrogen in reaching Net Zero6. The morning session concluded with our second keynote speaker, Professor Stephen Eichhorn, who gave a presentation about equitable and sustainable composites for the future7.

During lunch, conference attendees had an opportunity to join a virtual networking session where they were able to interact with our researchers and PhD students and find out about collaboration opportunities.

In the afternoon, conference delegates could choose between two interesting panel discussions, chaired by our keynote speakers Professors Ting and Eichhorn, that ran simultaneously. 

In the panel discussion chaired by Professor Ting, panel members discussed the role of composites in a hydrogen economyThe panel members included Martin Aston (Forvanda), Professor David Fermin (University of Bristol), Dr James Minshull (Aerospace Technology Institute), and Dr Marcus Walls-Bruck (National Composites Centre).

Professor Eichhorn chaired the second panel discussion, with an equally intriguing topic: Why do we need sustainable composites? The panel members included Professor James Njuguna  (Robert Gordon University), Dr Dipa Roy (University of Edinburgh), Dr Darshil Shah (University of Cambridge), Dr Vicky Summers (National Composites Centre), and Dr Eleni Toumpanaki (University of Bristol).

"We greatly enjoyed our first conference as Co-Directors, welcoming so many attendees to celebrate our successes from the past year and to consider the role of composites in future scientific and engineering challenges. A special thank you to our external panellists for your contributions", Institute Co-Directors Ole Thomsen and Stephen Hallett concluded.

You can watch the recordings of the presentations and panel discussions on YouTube. The presentation slides are available for download below this article. 

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Further information


  1. Introduction to the Bristol Composites Institute 2021 (PDF, 1,589kB) – Professor Ole Thomsen and Professor Stephen Hallett, Co-Directors of Bristol Composites Institute
  2. NCC update (PDF, 6,751kB) – Dr Enrique Garcia, Chief Technology Officer, National Composites Centre
  3. Manufacturing and Design research (PDF, 1,803kB) – Dr Dmitry Ivanov, Associate Professor in Composite Manufacturing
  4. Materials research (PDF, 3,063kB) – Fabrizio Scarpa, Professor of Smart Materials and Structures
  5. Structures research (PDF, 1,262kB) – Dr Giuliano Allegri, Reader in Composite Structures
  6. The role of hydrogen in reaching Net Zero (PDF, 2,013kB)– Valeska Ting, ‌Professor of Smart Nanomaterials
  7. Equitable and sustainable composites for the future (PDF, 5,773kB) ‌– Stephen Eichhorn, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
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