Travel Grant 2018

Sampe Student and Young Researcher Travel Grant Post Conference Report 2018 by Petar Zivkovic


The Sampe Student and Young Researcher Travel Grant allowed me to attend and present at the Sampe Europe Conference 2018 in Southampton. The theme of the conference was “Large Structures in Composite Engineering” and this was particularly suited to the work which I was presenting titled: “Improving the Aesthetic Quality in Composite Marine Bulkhead Joints through Applications of Design for Assembly”, which is work that I have done during my post graduate masters studies, but never had the opportunity to present. The conference itself was very insightful with many stimulating presentations and tutorials. The first day comprised of two tutorials, the first being a tutorial on Thermoplastic Composites in Aerospace delivered by Arnt R. Offringa. This was a very informative tutorial and gave an overview of where thermoplastics stand in the aerospace industry and where lie future interests. The second part of the tutorials was a parallel session, where I observed the design and manufacture process of large composite structures delivered by Prof. John Summerscales and Dr. Richard Cullen. Completing my undergraduate studies at the University of Plymouth, I worked very closely with John and Richard, and it was a pleasure to attend one of their tutorials again after many years, as it was linked very closely to the work I was presenting. The first day of the conference had three parallel sessions where I mainly attended the Materials and Processing session on General Processing, with occasionally dropping into the Aerospace session on thermoplastics. The second half of the day was spent on industrial visits. This in, my opinion, is one of the best aspects of conferences like this as it allows for a more interactive discussion to take place and see how businesses operate and construct products. I also attended the Sunseeker visit which took place in their production facility in Weymouth. At Weymouth, 50 and 116 foot yachts were being manufactured and seeing the size of such structures cannot help but make one think how amazing it is that it is possible that they are manufactured all out of composite. The final day of the conference is when I presented my work within the special applications session on marine and renewables. The work focused on quality through aesthetics and the design for assembly of marine bulkhead joints, whereby a new method for creating bulkhead joints was developed, allowing it to be easier for manufacturing/assembly and more robust in maintaining tolerances. The presentation was well received by the audience with an few interesting questions that sparking a lively discussion. In addition, the chair of the session, Prof. John Summerscales, was presenting in a parallel session at the same time. To mitigate this, he has asked me to co-chair the session with him and take over after my presentation so that he would be able to deliver his. This was another remarkable experience and opportunity for me as I had never anticipated chairing a session this early in my career. Throughout the conference, there have been numerous opportunities for networking and I have met multiple individuals from the industry and other academic institutes such as Tom Frazier from Automated Dynamics, and Terry McGrail from University of Limerick, as well as committee members from Sampe Europe and Sampe UK and Ireland chapter. This allowed me to create links that will undoubtedly assist me further along in my career. Overall, the experience of attending this conference was so positive that I have already started planning and preparing for the Sampe Europe Conference 2018 in Nantes. I would like to take the opportunity to thank once again Sampe for supporting me in attending this conterence

Annual Student Seminar 2018

The 2018 SAMPE UK & Ireland Student Seminar was held at the IOM3 in London on 5th July. This event was heavily subscribed, with six smart students all giving impressive talks.

The judging panel comprised Andrew Mills, Carwyn Ward and Natalia Becerra.

The student presenters were:

  • Geoff Neale (Ulster): “3D woven glass preforms for crash energy absorption structures”
  • Lourens Bloc (Bristol): “ALM printing carbon TPs”
  • Ghilane Bragagnolo (Surrey): “Flexural behaviour of CF fabric PMI core sandwich panels for car floor impact resistance”
  • Wini Obande (Edinburgh): “In mould polymerised acrylic TP RTM”
  • Riikka Hasa (Imperial): “Multilayer unusual lay up CF epoxy inspired by sea shells”
  • Danijela Stankovic (Edinburgh): “Tensile strength investigation of ultra strong CF suspension bridge strut joints”

The winners were Riikka and Geoff, who repeated their presentations at the SAMPE Europe conference in Southampton in September, along with the winners from the other SAMPE Europe chapters.

In the “composite” photograph shown above, from left to right: Danijela Stankovic, Riikka Hasa, Geoff Neale, Natalia Becerra, Andrew Mills, Carwyn Ward, Ghilana Bragagnolo and Lourens Bloc.

SAMPE Europe Conference 18 Southampton: Large Structures in Composite Engineering

SAMPE Europe Conference 18 Southampton, hosted this year by UK & Ireland Chapter, 11-13 September 2018

The SAMPE Europe Conference 18 Southampton was jointly organised by the SAMPE UK & Ireland Chapter and SAMPE Europe, and was held 11-13 September 2018, in Southampton.

The main sponsor was Huntsman, with event partners: National Composites Centre, Compcut Advanced Composite Machining, and Sharp & Tappin.

The annual partners were Fokker, TPRC, Evonik, JEC Group, GKN Aerospace, Leichbau BW, Teijin, Coexpair, Surface Generation, Tencate Advanced Composites and Airbus.

The table top exhibitors were Kruss, Com & Sens, Gearing Scientific Ltd, CIMComp (EPSRC research hub), Titaniua, University of Southampton, Airbourne, DTC and Tygavac Advanced Materials Ltd.

Summary of the Programme

The programme spread over three days, with the first day dedicated to tutorials. The second day opened with keynote presentations, followed later in the morning by three parallel sessions. In the afternoon, the delegates split into groups to either attend one of five plant visits or to attend the Automotive Special event at Beaulieu Motor Museum. Following the site visits, all delegates transfered to Beaulieu for the evening event. The final day comprised of parallel presentation sessions.

Tuesday 11 September 2018

Pre-Conference Tutorial (A)
Thermosplastic composites in aerospace: Materials, Technologies and Applications
Arnt R Offringa MSc, Head of Aerostructures R&T, GKN Fokker Technologies, Netherlands.

Pre-Conference Tutorial (B1)
Design and manufacture of large composite structures
Prof John Summerscales and Dr Richard Cullen, School of Engineering, University of Plymoth, UK.

Pre-Conference Tutorial (B2)
Tooling technologies for composites manufacturing: Additive, Metal, Composites, Rubber, Shape Memory, Molds and More
Dr Scott W Beckwith, BTG Composites Inc & SAMPE Global Technical Director, USA.

Wednesday 12 September 2018

Plenary Session
Materials challenges for the future of aerospace: Kay Youngdhl Blohowiak, The Boeing Company, USA.
Large structures of advanced composites in civil engineering: Urs Maeier, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research (EMPA), Switzerland.

Parallel Sessions
Special Applications: Sustainable Composites.
Aerospace: Thermoplastic Composites.
Materials & Processes: General Processing.

Thursday 12 September 2018

Parallel Sessions
Special Applications: Space; Marine & Renewables; Automotive.
Aerospace: Dry fibre placement, preforming; Design, dampage, materials; Thermoplastic tape placement.
Materials & Processes: Modelling & Testing; Aerospace Processing; Additive Manufacturing; Joining & Bonding; Thermoplastics for Oil & Gas.

The Sky Is Not The Limit: Composites Technologies For Cross-Sector Applications

Annual Seminar and SME Table Top Exhibition, 13 February 2020

SAMPE UK & Ireland chapter organises an annual technical seminar, where a large number of industry professionals from OEMs, their Suppliers (T1, T2, materials etc.) as well as SMEs are present. There is an almost equal number of delegates and researchers from universities. The seminar, aligned to a particular theme, has 8-10 technical talks detailing the latest innovations and trends in various areas such as Composites Manufacturing Technology, Advances in Design Practices, Materials and Processes, Additive Manufacturing, Market Applications etc. In general, speakers have exemplary experience either in industry or in academia. The seminar also has a table-top exhibition to showcase novel, innovative products and services as well as student posters to highlight the latest academic research.

Media Competition 2021

Calling all Young Composite Engineers

The Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering would like to invite you to participate in a media competition to show the Resilience of the composite materials community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is an opportunity to promote your products, services or research ideas at a national level, using your composites knowledge and creativity to produce an informative video that can be shown to the wider composites community. This may demonstrate;

  • How your research has been affected by COVID
  • Development of new products to diversify your business
  • New opportunities or services you have offered during the pandemic to support your local community

SAMPE UK and Ireland is a networking organisation of 150+ professionals and students in advanced materials, which is very active in composite materials. An objective of SAMPE is to foster technical excellence in the UK and Ireland, by promoting interest in new materials and processes within the composites community. SAMPE wishes to use this event to create a dialogue and network with tomorrow’s engineers.
The competition is being organised in conjunction with the EPSRC Future Composites Manufacturing Research Hub. The winning video will be displayed at the annual SAMPE UK & Ireland seminar in March 2021 and on the SAMPE website. A cash prize will be awarded to the winning team with the smartest video and free annual membership of SAMPE UK & Ireland will be offered to all participants.
Further information about the UK and Ireland Chapter can be found at
Further information about the EPSRC Future Composites Manufacturing Research Hub can be found at


  • The video should be aimed at a non-technical audience – think GCSE students.
  • The video must be no longer than 3 minutes and should be filmed in landscape.
  • The video must contain footage from either a laboratory, manufacturing facility or office environment, and should not simply be a recording of a set of PowerPoint slides.
  • There should be no inappropriate language or offensive content, as the winning video will be hosted on the SAMPE website and displayed at the annual seminar.
  • No more than four members per team.
  • Only one entry per team. However, universities or companies are welcome to enter multiple teams if they wish.
  • At least one team member must be present at the seminar in March 2021.
  • Your entry should be hosted on a video file sharing site, such as Wistia or Youtube, and the link should be sent to before the competition deadline.

Teams may contain undergraduate, postgraduate or postdoctoral researchers and early career engineers. Entries are welcome from all universities and companies in the UK and Ireland.

Registration for the competition must be completed in advance by sending an email to Please register your team by Friday 29th January 2020, providing the following information:

  • Team name
  • Team members
  • Team point of contact e-mail
  • Affiliation

Your video should be submitted by Friday 15th February 2021. Winners will be announced in March ahead of the SAMPE UK & Ireland annual seminar.

Questions regarding the competition should be sent to

Design & Make Competition 2019

SAMPE UKIC held its first annual Composite Design and Make competition on 12th September 2019 at the University of Nottingham, in conjunction with the EPSRC Future Composites Manufacturing Research Hub open day. Six teams competed to build the tallest freestanding tower to support a mass of 1kg. Entries had to use either glass fibre or carbon fibre, with no metallic fasteners, with a total mass of less than 250g.

There was a clear winner at just over 6.7 metres, which presented a real challenge for the judges during the testing. The winning team from the University of Bristol were presented a trophy and a cash prize by the SAMPE UKIC Chairman, Tim Wybrow. Tim commented that “our first Design and Make competition for Young Engineers and Students (YES) has been a huge success. It has created a real buzz and I’m so pleased to see so many new young and enthusiastic people engaging with SAMPE”.

From left to right: Francesco Morabito, University of Bristol; Tim Wybrow, SAMPE UKIC Chairman; Chris Hunt, University of Bristol. (Third team member: Yian Zhao, University of Bristol)

Annual Student Seminar 2019

The 2019 SAMPE UK & Ireland Student Seminar was held at the IOM3 in London on 18th July 2019. The seminar is a presentation competition.

The annual seminar competition is an excellent opportunity for postgraduate research students to present their work to a panel of independent judges. Typically, 2nd year PhD, 3rd year EngD, or Masters research students participate.

Every year the student Seminar is held in late spring, usually in London. Up to six students are selected to participate in the seminar competition from all of the applications received by the deadline, and are chosen on the fit to the brief, content, novelty, technological innovation, and its application. If chosen to compete the seminar you will get:

  • One year SAMPE young members membership
  • Expenses paid to attend the seminar competition

The presentation judging panel will comprise a small group of specialists from academia and industry. The two students giving the best presentations will win the opportunity to present their work at the prestigeous SAMPE Europe Student Conference and attend the SAMPE Europe Conference 17-19 September 2019, which will be held in Nantes, France. Registration and expenses will be paid. Winners of the SAMPE Europe Student presentation competition will go on to represent Europe at the SAMPE International conference in Seattle in May 2020: also registration and expenses paid.

To see how this competition can help in your future career, see this case study where a previous winner talks about its impact on their career