Philadelphia University and MAG are establishing the Philadelphia University MAG Composites Institute for research and development of new textile-based composites that could have wide application in industry, including the aerospace, automotive and energy sectors. The new institute will be funded in part by $1.1 million from MAG, whose chairman and chief executive officer is Dr. Eng. Mo I. Meidar, a Philadelphia University alumnus and member of the University’s Board of Trustees. MAG, headquartered in New York, is a leading developer of automation technologies for producing composite structures, as well as one of the largest global suppliers of machine tools and manufacturing automation systems for the durable goods industry.
In addition to the Philadelphia University MAG Composites Institute, the funding also will support a new B.S. in Engineering program with a concentration in composites. The first courses in composites will be offered in fall 2011.
“Our partnership with MAG to support new and important research in composite materials and expand our academic programming in engineering has myriad advantages for both MAG and the university, as well as for our students and faculty and the industries that are likely to benefit from the development of new textile-composite materials,” said Philadelphia University president Stephen Spinelli Jr., Ph.D. “It’s a perfect example of an industry leader and a professional university partnering to create extraordinary opportunities in engineering science and education.”
Composites play an increasingly important role in industrial applications across a wide range of fields. In particular, woven and braided textiles have been used for fiber reinforcement in composites for many years. For instance, Boeing has announced that up to 50 percent of the primary structure, including the fuselage and wing, of its new 787 Dreamliner airplane will be made of composite materials, some of which are textile-based composites.
The Philadelphia University MAG Composites Institute builds on the university’s legacy as the nation’s first textile school and its considerable expertise in advanced textile-related research. In fall 2009, Philadelphia University established the Biomedical Textile Structures Laboratory to develop textile-based products for medical use, and in 2004 established the Laboratory for Engineering Human Protection to assist the military in designing and developing new protection systems for military personnel.