When students new to the Wilson College of Textiles are asked what kind of products are made with textiles, their immediate answers typically include “clothes,” “protective gear,” or “medical products.” The idea of making a snowboard, a ski boat, or even an airplane almost never crosses their minds. Dr. Philip Bradford, an assistant professor in TECS and an engineering project group leader for STEP, is on a mission to change that. He has spent the last two summers developing a STEP curriculum that introduces STEP students to fiber reinforced composite materials. “After the five day program, students leave with not only an appreciation of all the consumer goods made from fiber reinforced composite materials but also an understanding of a few of the industrial processes used to produce them,” explained Bradford . “I designed this program so that students work with a few different fabrication methods and get to take samples of the composites they made home with them.” A total of 19 students over two weeks participated in the composites sessions.
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