Composite materials enable lighter, more cost efficient aerospace structures. Polymer composite materials are widely used for aircraft, launch vehicles, and satellites. Ceramic matrix composites are used for high temperature applications such as control surfaces for reentry vehicles and engine exhaust systems. Dr. Keith will discuss the analysis and test efforts that were undertaken to ensure the structural integrity of three different composite aerospace structures – Boeing's Starliner Reusable Spacecraft, a prototype ceramic matrix composite exhaust system, and a 4.2m diameter, polymer composite cryogenic tank.
About the speaker:
Dr. William Keith is an Associate Technical Fellow at The Boeing Company. He's led numerous test programs to characterize the material response of polymer and ceramic matrix composite materials and structures. This has included laminates, sandwich structures, bolted and bonded joints, and large structural elements at temperatures ranging from -420 to 2,000 °F. He was the strength lead for the design and development of composite cryogenic tanks for the DARPA/Boeing's Phantom Express Program - a rapid, reusable space plane. He led the strength and test teams for the development of a prototype ceramic matrix composite exhaust system which was successfully flown on the 787 EcoDemonstrator.
He received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Santa Barbara and his M.S. from the University of California Berkeley in Mechanical Engineering. He got his bachelor's degree from Iowa State University in Engineering Science & Mechanics.