Program & Speakers

Plenary Speakers


Prof. Zafer Gurdal

Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of South Carolina

Dr. Zafer Gurdal is a full professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of South Carolina. Dr. Gurdal received his B.S. degree on mechanical engineering from the Middle East Technical University in 1979, and his M.S. degree Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology in 1981. He received his Ph.D. degree in Aerospace & Ocean Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University in 1985. Dr. Gurdal’s research interests are in structural and multidisciplinary design and optimization, design and optimization of composite materials and structures, and computational methods for design with manufacturing emphasis. His research has largely been funded by NASA Langley Research Center and Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) in the US, and EU Research Frame work programs in Europe. He was one of the investigators of the NASA – Virginia Tech Composites program during his tenure at Virginia Tech. He was the principal investigator and co-investigator of more than 60 research grants, majority of which on methodologies for composite laminate design and novel structural configurations, as well as experimental verification of composites structures research. The funding sources for his research included ALCOA, Lockheed Martin, Newport News Ship Building, Boeing (Helicopters, Commercial, and Defense), McDonnell Douglas, Sikorsky Aircraft, Ford Motor Company, Fokker Aerostructures. His research cooperation in Europe included DLR, NLR, ONERA, CIRA, EADS, Dassault Aviation, Airbus, Allenia, Rolls Royce, Astrium, Dutch Space, Piaggio, and Israel Aircraft Industries. He also worked with a number of small companies, and is one of the founders of a small business in Blacksburg Virginia, and one in the Netherlands. Prof. Gurdal’s research contributions resulted nearly 300 publications. He was a key-note/plenary speaker for 14 international conferences, co-authored of 3 books, and taught several AIAA Professional Development Short courses. He served as the graduate thesis advisor for more than 60 masters and 30 doctoral students. He is a Lifetime member and Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and one of the initial members of the AIAA Multidisciplinary Technical Committee (MDO-TC).


Prof. Hyonny Kim

Department of Structural Engineering
University of California San Diego

Hyonny Kim is a Professor in the Department of Structural Engineering at the University of California, San Diego. Hyonny received his Ph.D. in the area of Solid Mechanics and Structures from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at UC Santa Barbara in 1998, M.S. from the Applied Mechanics Division of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University in 1994, and B.S. from UC Santa Barbara in 1993. Hyonny has gained industrial experience while working for Pratt & Whitney aircraft engine company in 1995, and in 1994 as co-founder of a small company engineering and prototyping electric vehicles. Prior to his current faculty appointment at UC San Diego, Hyonny was a member of the faculty of the School of Aeronautics & Astronautics at Purdue University (2001 to 2006). Hyonny’s areas of research interest are the testing and analysis of composite materials and structures, with particular focus on impact, dynamic response, adhesive joining, and large-scale structural behavior. Hyonny is a Fellow of the American Society for Composites and served as the society’s President in 2018-2019. He is also an Executive Committee member of the International Committee for Composite Materials (ICCM).



The Wayne W. Stinchcomb Memorial Lecture

Mr. Adam Sawicki

Vertical Lift Division
The Boeing Company

Adam Sawicki is a Senior Technical Fellow of the Boeing Company, having worked for thirty-two years in the Mechanical & Structural Engineering organization. Based at the Vertical Lift division in Philadelphia PA, his early career focused on rotorcraft products including the V-22 Osprey, RAH-66 Comanche and H-47 Chinook. His primary technical areas of interest include composite design allowables and method development, composite damage tolerance and repair, testing of composites and additive manufacturing.

Since 2009 he has served as an FAA designee (engineering unit member), helping certify aircraft such as the 787 Dreamliner, the KC-46A Pegasus tanker. He also serves as a compliance verification engineer (CVE) for foreign military programs such as the E-7 Wedgetail airborne early warning and control aircraft. He also participates in technology and flight readiness reviews for developmental programs including MQ-25, T-7A, CST-100, SLS and VC-25B.

Adam graduated with bachelors and master’s degrees in aeronautics and astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as an MBA from Villanova University. He has been a member of ASTM D30 Committee on Composite Materials for over twenty years. He served as committee chairman from 2012-17 and was designated an ASTM Fellow in 2019. Adam has been a member of the Hopewell Valley (NJ) Regional School District Board of Education since 2011 and has served as an MIT educational councilor since 2014.

Keynote Speakers


Prof. Kyriaki Kalaitzidou

Rae. S and Frank H. Neely Professor and Associate Chair for Faculty Development
Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology

Dr. Kalaitzidou joined the faculty in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, at Georgia Institute of Technology in November, 2007. She was a Woodruff Faculty Fellow from 2016-2019 and she is currently the Rae S. and Frank H. Neely Professor. She holds a Courtesy appointment in the School of Materials Science and Engineering. Prior, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Polymer Science and Engineering Department at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She received her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science from Michigan State University in 2006 and her M.S in Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics from Michigan Technological University in 2002. Her research focuses on the manufacture of polymeric lightweight structures and smart materials which are commonly used in applications ranging from aerospace and automotive to consumer electronics. Her research has been sponsored by both federal agencies such as NSF and USDA and various industries including Yamaha, Honda, VW, Boeing, Intel and Samsung. She has co-authored a book chapter and more than 70 peer-reviewed journal publications; and holds 2 patents. Her groups has authored about 80 refereed conference papers and presented in National and International conferences. Prof. Kalaitzidou served as the General Chair of the 34th American Society for Composites (ASC) in 2019 ( She is a member of TAPPI, ASC and ASME. Dr Kalaitzidou is an alumna (2019) of the ELATES Program ( Her work is highly cited (

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Mr. Ken Segal

Composites Application Engineer
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Ken Segal is a NASA composites application engineer with 34 years of experience at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.  Ken has worked numerous flight and technology development programs applying and advancing composite structures technology. Past technology development work includes polymer and metal matrix RF waveguides for Hubble Space Telescope, composite corrugated feedhorns for the Diffuse Microwave Explorer, and all composite bonded joints for FERMI-GLAST and Composite Technology for Exploration. Ken has supported Earth Science, Heliophysics, and Astrophysics flight structure development on projects such as Polar Orbiting Environmental Satellite, Parker Solar Probe, and James Webb Space Telescope, respectively. Ken is currently supporting Roman Space Telescope and Mars Sample Return Missions and co-leads the Thermoplastic Development for Exploration Applications design and analyses team to advance Thermoplastic composites for space applications.



Prof. Endel V. Iarve

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Institute for Predictive Performance Modeling
University of Texas at Arlington

Career research is focused on understanding and computational modeling of deformation and failure mechanisms of current and emerging composite materials. In the 80-90’s Iarve was one of the pioneers of application of B-spline approximation to stress analysis in laminated composites including dynamic problems and impact loading. Research areas included refined plate and shell theories, biomimetics, composite repair, composite bolted joints, chopped fiber composites and textile composites. Recent research interests are in the area of Integrated Computational Materials Science and Engineering bringing together manufacturing and performance aspects of advanced composite materials. Recent developments include Discrete Damage Modeling methodologies for laminated composites under broad range of loading conditions including compression and fatigue. His research was funded by Air Force, NASA and other government agencies and industry.

He is a member of AIAA and American Society for Composites and ASME. Dr. Iarve served on the ASME Joining Committee including Chair position 2008-2010.

Short Course

Peridynamics for Progressive Failure Analysis of Composites

This 3-hour short course will be taught during the ASC Conference. The course will consist of four lectures scheduled in the afternoon on Monday, Sept 19, and Tuesday, Sept 20, (see the conference schedule).

For more information about the course click here.