For the third year running, JEC Group is organizing the JEC Composites Challenge, a competition among PhD. students who have been sourced and hand-picked for the quality of their research in composites. Eleven young researchers from around the world will be presenting their work before leading industrial players in the composites sector. The competition builds bridges between research and industry and is a highlight of JEC World, the international composites trade fair which will be taking place from March 3 to 5, 2020, at the Paris Nord Villepinte exhibition center.

Five minutes to convince a qualified audience The final of the competition will take place on March 4 during the JEC World trade show. In presentations given before a panel of expert judges, the eleven doctoral students will rise to the challenge of explaining their project in five minutes using a single slide. Two winners will be selected from the finalists. One by the panel, and one by the audience via an online voting system during the session. The prize for the competition winners is a VIP accreditation for the following year, plus dinner for two at the Eiffel Tower’s restaurant.

A superb chance to make a mark For these doctoral students, the event is a unique chance for their research to be recognized: they enjoy unrivaled publicity before an audience of qualified decision-makers in the sector. And for the composites industry, it is an outstanding showcase of tomorrow’s innovations and talents. The competition, which brings together the sector’s brightest minds, therefore builds bridges between research, industry leaders and, more broadly, all players in the composites value chain.
The competition will take place on March 4 at the Agora with the following schedule:
• 11.35am – 11.40: Introduction
• 11.40 – 12.00: Keynote presentation – « From PhD to Entrepreneur » by Christian Fischer, CEO & Co-Founder of Bcomp
• 12.00 – 13.00: Pitch of the 11 PhD finalists
• 16.35 – 16.45: Composites Challenge Awards Ceremony

The participants in the JEC Composites Challenge will also play a leading role throughout the JEC World trade show. They will give feedback every day on the innovations that caught their eye at the trade show so that these can be featured on JEC World’s social networks. They will also make themselves available for one hour every day to discuss their work with other participants. In addition, a poster presenting their own research will be designed by JEC World and displayed in the Education Hub (hall 5).


This year’s panel of judges is made up of renowned industrial players and researchers:
• Christophe BINETRUY, ECCM19 General Chair & Professor, Centrale Nantes
• Christian-Andre KEUN, President of SAMPE Europe & CEO, CompriseTec
• Lucien FIORE Asia Pacific Business Development Director, Hexcel
• Aicha MIKDAM, Technical Editor, JEC Group
• Véronique MICHAUD, Head of Laboratory for Processing of Advanced Composites (LPAC), EPFL
• Jean-Marc SENECOT, Global Head of R&D, Porcher Industries
Winners of JEC Composites Challenge 2019
Save the date JEC World 2020 • Paris Nord Villepinte 3-5 March 2020


Callum Branfoot University of Bristol
Title : CANs: Reversibly Crosslinked Polymers and the Future of Composites Description : Covalent adaptable networks (CANs) are crosslinked polymers comprising a dynamic chemistry which allows their selective and reversible de- crosslinking. In this research, all aspects of CANs are investigated, ranging from their synthesis to their use as recyclable and repairable composite matrices.

Christopher Hunt University of Bristol                                Title : WrapToR composite truss structures Description : Wrapped Tow Reinforced (WrapToR) trusses combine the structurally favourable geometry of trusses with the impressive material properties of composites to form ultra-efficient structural members. The research is focused on developing the technology through understanding and improvement of the manufacturing process and the establishment of analytical techniques to predict structural behaviour.

Mario Reda-Ruiz Universidad Politecnica de Madrid / IMDEA
Title : Extending virtual testing to impact applications Description : A micromechanical model of composite ply incorporating strain rate dependency has been developed. A novel micromechanical testing technique for high strain rate characterization of composite constituents has been developed for model calibration. Simulation of damage initiation at high strain rates and validation with macroscale testing has been achieved.

Kelly Chang University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Title : Autonomous healing and indication of cracks in fiber-reinforced composites Description : We introduce an elegant pathway to reducing high maintenance costs by dispersing microcapsules containing a dye and liquid healing agent in our composites. These capsules can extend the lifespan of composites while alleviating the challenges associated with locating damage.

Nicolas Lavalette Technical University of Delft
Title : Design and Optimization of Hybrid Truss Structures Description : My research focuses on the design and optimization of truss structures made of pultruded CFRP members. For this purpose, an aluminum-CFRP adhesive joint is designed to efficiently connect the truss members. The strength and weight of the joints are then taken into account within the truss optimization algorithm.

Amirmohammad Rahimizadeh McGill University
Title : Used wind turbines: A recycling solution Description : Our goal is to create an efficient recycling scheme to extract glass fibers from used wind turbine blades and reuse them in new added value products. Through micromechanical characterization, the optimum design parameters for an efficient composite from the recycled fibers are obtained and used to develop recycled composite pellets and 3D printing filaments with exceptional properties.

Gearóid Clancy: University of Limerick
Title : Spreading of carbon fibre/thermoplastic pre-preg tapes Description : Varying the width of pre-preg tapes can eliminate defects in complex composite structures. Current methods struggle to produce doubly curved surfaces such as aircraft noses without gaps or overlaps. An improved method, utilized with automated tape placement, can spread pre-preg tapes eliminating gaps and overlaps, boosting the efficiency of complex structures.

Maria Morissa Lu KU Leuven
Title : Improving the water durability of flax fibre composites by using non-dry fibre Description : Water sorption of natural fibre composites leads to the swelling and shrinkage of the fibre, which results in a reduction of the mechanical properties and dimensional stability of the composites. Water durability of composites is enhanced by using non-dry flax fibre and resins that have low sensitivity to moisture.

Simone Bancora Ecole Centrale Nantes
Title : From Pressure to Geometry: a scalable method for realistic textiles reconstruction Description : We propose a method to reconstruct the architecture of a dry preform based on simple data acquisition. As the laminate is compacted, a pressure-sensitive film is used to capture the mechanical signature of the layup. Using this information the mesoscale geometry of the preform is interpreted.

Karl Bouton KTH University
Title : “Structural power composites for massless energy storage” Description : Structural power composites are a new kind of multifunctional composites. Among them, structural batteries consist in light structural CFRP composites capable of storing energy. These new materials could reduce the conventional heavy battery packs’ weight penalties by giving the future electric aircrafts’ structure some energy storage capabilities.

Andreas Klingler Technical University of Kaiserslautern / Institut für Verbundwerkstoffe
Title : From Brittle to Tough – Damage Tolerance of Core-Shell Rubber and Block Copolymer Toughened CFRP Description : The research project aims at extending the fundamental understanding how toughness is transferred from a nano phase modified thermoset (up to 28 vol.-%) to a fibre reinforced composite. Subsequently the key aspects to obtain tough and damage tolerant thermosetting CFRPs by the sole modification of the matrix are identified.

About JEC Group

JEC Group is the world’s leading company dedicated entirely to the development of information and business connections channels and platforms supporting the growth and promotion of the composite materials industry. Publisher of the JEC Composites Magazine – the industry’s reference magazine, JEC Group drives global innovation programs and organizes several events in the world, including JEC World (the foremost and world- leading international exhibition dedicated to composite materials and their applications), which takes place every March in Paris.