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Rachel Gilbert
(757) 864-2961

RELEASE:  00-055

For Release:  July 6, 2000

Structures and Materials to be Presented at Lecture

     Development of composite materials for commercial and military aircraft, and next generation spacecraft will be the focus of an assessment given by Dr. Charles E. Harris. Problems found in manufacturing and design of hypersonic vehicles led to this development of the Structures and Materials Center of Excellence (COE).

     Harris, the director of the COE at NASA Langley Research Center, will present "Composite Materials for Aerospace Applications: Past, Present, and Future" at a colloquium at 2 p.m. Tuesday, July 11, at NASA Langley's H.J.E. Reid Conference Center.

     A media briefing will be held at 1:15 p.m. in the Wythe Room of the Reid Conference Center, 14 Langley Blvd. at NASA Langley. Media who wish to attend the briefing should contact Rachel Gilbert at (757) 864-2961.

     Harris will discuss the evolution of composite materials in experimental hypersonic vehicles, along with a summary of lessons learned over the years. He will also share the latest advances in technology and the future of composite materials.

     The main function of the COE is to promote unity of other NASA centers through the enhancement of structures and material technical expertise. The COE supports technology assessments and future research.

     Harris is the Chief Technologist for Structures and Materials and was formerly Head of the Mechanics of Materials Branch. Prior to joining NASA in 1987, Harris was a professor of Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University. Harris earned a bachelor of science in Aerospace Engineering and doctorate in Engineering Mechanics from Virginia Tech.

     The public is invited to the Sigma Series lecture at the Virginia Air and Space Center that evening, at 7:30 p.m.

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