Our History

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CRN grew out of the Composites Group at UBC. Based in the Department of Materials Engineering and the Department of Civil Engineering, it formed in the early 1980s under the leadership of Dr. John Nadeau and Dr. Ed Teghtsoonian. A $9.8M grant from the federal government under the Western Economic Diversification program helped establish the Composites Research Network in 2012. 

UBC has a strong capability in composites, with a strong focus on industrially relevant and transferable technology generation and training capacity. This is based not only on academic excellence but also on industrial success and experience gained through Convergent Manufacturing Technologies, a provider of simulation software and associated services for composites manufacturing. The Composites Research Network conducts basic and applied research in many areas including processing, impact, and fracture/damage.  

Our experimental design process includes modelling as a tool for cost-effective and accurate validation during process development. In all areas there is a tight coupling between modelling and experimental activities.  

CRN Research Areas 


  • Process modeling of thermoset composites 
  • Thermo-viscoelastic modeling of thermoplastic composites 
  • Permeability of composite laminates 
  • Characterization of prepregs 
  • Thermochemical analysis of composite structures 
  • Sensitivity analysis of processing parameters 
  • Residual stresses and dimensional control 
  • Development of cure models 
  • Cure path dependency of toughened thermoset composites 
  • Strain rate sensitivity of fracture and damage 
  • Material property development during cure 
  • Cure shrinkage 
  • Characterization of defects in Automated Fiber Placement 

Damage, Fracture and Failure of Composite Structures 

  • Experimental characterization of damage 
  • Damage Modeling 
  • Health monitoring and rehabilitation of composite structures 
  • Repair and maintenance of composite parts 
  • Delamination 

Impact and Ballistics 

  • Instrumented impact and ballistic testing 
  • Numerical simulation of soft (woven fabric) and hard (laminate) structures 

Wood Composites 

  • Multi-scale modeling of wood composites 
  • Optimization of OSB panels 

Miscellaneous Projects 

  • Integrating process modeling with damage modeling in a virtual design environment 
  • Adhesive bonding 
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