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April 21: WSU to host aerospace research symposium

PULLMAN, Wash. – Featuring the theme, “Advancing Public-Private Partnerships in Aerospace,” the second annual research symposium of The Joint Center for Aerospace Technology Innovation (JCATI) will be held April 21 in the Compton Union Building at Washington State University.

JCATI was established by the Washington legislature and governor’s office in 2012 to address technological questions important to the Washington aerospace industry.  The center works to support the state’s aerospace industry by pursuing research that is relevant to aerospace companies and by providing industry-focused research opportunities for students.

Participants discuss research at last year's annual JCATI symposium.
Participants discuss research at last year’s annual JCATI symposium.

This year’s symposium  will feature presentations by Russell Maguire, president of Global Nanocomposites and former technical fellow at The Boeing Corporation;  Robert P. Hoyt, Ph.D., chief executive officer & chief scientist, Tethers Unlimited;  and Ralph Cavalieri, WSU associate vice president for Alternative Energy and director of the Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance.

Maguire’s topic will be “Functional Considerations & Opportunities for Nanocomposites & Nanotechnology in Commercial Aerospace,” while Hoyt will focus on “New Paths Towards Building Our Future In Space,” and Cavalieri will speak about the “ASCENT of Biofuels – FAA Center of Excellence for Alternative Jet Fuels and the Environment.”

Additionally, a number of panels comprised of members of leading aerospace companies and university representatives, will provide perspectives on the challenges of commercializing academic research and the benefits of including student researchers in university-industry collaborations.

Research from 16 projects currently supported JCATI awards, representing the areas of additive manufacturing, aerospace structures, biofuels, commercial flight, composites, controls, and space propulsion, will also be presented in both oral and poster presentations.

“Part of our land-grant mission means working with industry partners to solve important challenges for the state and nation,’’ said Candis Claiborn, dean of the College of Engineering and Architecture and a JCATI board member. “Through this collaboration, we better prepare our students for the 21st century workplace, and encourage innovation and entrepreneurship that have real impact. These types of partnerships drive innovation, build our future workforce, and build a stronger economy for the state of Washington.’’

A full list of currently supported researchers and their industry partners is available online at

The event is $50 for the public, including lunch, and free for students.  Advanced registration at  is requested.

JCATI’s first  research symposium last year drew 200 members from Washington state’s aerospace community to Seattle and the campus of the University of Washington to hear presentations by NASA/JPL Flight Engineer Bobak Ferdowsi and Parker Aerospace’s David Daggett.


Robert Strenge, WSU News, 509-592-7356,


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