“The aviation industry is always on the leading edge of technology,” AAC Director Stan Smith said. “Aircraft now have many composite components since they are lightweight and strong. Other industries such as boating, racing, cycling, and other sports are also using this technology, so graduates of our new program will have a wide range of career path options.“
The new program will also allow for flexibility in scheduling, following a similar structure to the College’s Mechatronics program, in which students will review information in online modules before scheduling lab times at their convenience to complete over 40 projects.
The College is partnering with the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), who received a $5 million Manufacturing Education Extension Program (MEEP) grant from the Department of Defense (DOD) to replicate the successful Composites program at Davis Technical College in Utah at various locations across the United States over the next three years.
AAC was chosen as one of three locations to serve as learning centers. Through the MEEP grant, AAC will receive $50,000 per year for three years, totaling $150,000. These funds will help AAC supplement equipment purchases for the program’s lab and provide portions of the program instructor’s salary for three years.
Though College currently teaches basic composites to its aviation maintenance technology students, the new program will prepare individuals to apply basic engineering principles and technical skills in support of engineers and other professionals engaged in the development, manufacture and use of composite materials.