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Developing a supply chain in composite metals and processing for composite metals, and giving access to aerospace companies to expertise and infrastructure to use more robotics and to optimize their existing processes
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|Introduce yourself, your experience and your credentials||
The NSERC Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in Composite Aerospace Component Manufacturing aims to develop processes focusing mainly on primary aircraft structures. For the most part, these activities take place at the École nationale d’aérotechnique (ENA) in close collaboration with development partners, thereby creating a positive synergy for the project. The work is led by the Centre technologique en aérospatiale (CTA), which brings together a dynamic multidisciplinary team and industrial research laboratories with an array of impressive equipment. The main partner, Bombardier Aerospace, guides the technology direction based on current and future needs in order to remain a leader in the aviation industry.
The Chair holder, Robin Dubé, is central to the CTA’s remarkable progress in the field of composite materials. He established the CTA composites department as the mainstay of the development strategy at the Centre, which consists in the manufacture, tooling and inspection of aerospace parts made of composites. Optimized processes for aeronautics are developed based on proven methods such as resin transfer moulding, and thermoforming. Using the latest technology, these manufacturing techniques are optimized for the aviation industry.
Strategic partners take part in the Chair’s activities to promote the development of a local supply chain for composite parts for primary aircraft structures. The objective of the work undertaken by the Chair is to develop Canada’s aircraft composite materials industry. Like the ecological aircraft project, suppliers will take part in all project phases to ensure the emergence of Canadian suppliers. The Chair takes part in developing and maintaining this Canadian sector that employed over 170,000 people in Canada in 2012. The CTA has a comprehensive network of contacts: colleges, training centres, research centres, universities, SMEs and contractors. The work undertaken by this Chair makes it possible to develop applied solutions to real needs while taking into account both industrial and scientific constraints. After five years, nearly 500 ENA graduates will enter the work market with superior technical knowledge oriented towards Canadian aerospace needs and those of the main partner, Bombardier Aerospace.
|Describe your research||
Composite materials are found in everyday life. We find them not only in planes, an application on which I currently work and helicopters, but we also find them in boats, satellites, and sports materials. At the composite materials laboratory, we develop parts that represent the future of aerospace, in partnership with industry.
In the aerospace sector we support many Quebec and Canadian companies to be more productive and competitive internationally. More concretely, we give them access to our expertise, to our infrastructure and to our past experience, in addition to helping them support their project financially by writing financing proposals to federal and provincial organizations.
We are a diverse group that is nonetheless specialized in our specific area of activity. The team is composed of research engineers and professors specialized in their domain or related subjects such as chemistry. We also have students from l’Ecole Nationale d’Aérotechnique or in natural sciences. We are also supported by a very competent technical team without whom. All these projects would be impossible.
|Explain its significance||
The CTA is very active in this growing area and supports our partner companies to automate their processes, use more and more robotics and optimize their existing processes. Our three principal objectives as it relates to the Chair is to develop a supply chain in composite metals, to develop processes for composite metals, and, in my opinion the most important goal, to participate in the training of highly qualified staff.
For this last point, I want to urge future students to choose a career in the technical areas, in particular at l’Ecole Nationale d’Aerotechnique, that has three programmes in aerospace. I also want to mention that students who finish in technical programs receives more than one job offers before even graduating.
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