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AEWC Center Presents First Annual Director’s Awards

Contact: Roberta Laverty, Advanced Engineered Wood Composites Center, 207 581 2110, roberta.laverty@umit.maine.edu

ORONO–Tom and Linda Patrick of West Boothbay Harbor and Robert Lindyberg of Orono have received the 1st Annual AEWC Center Director’s Awards at the University of Maine Advanced Engineered Wood Composites Center. Director Habib J. Dagher presented the awards December 11 to the Patricks for their support of the center and to Lindyberg for his work as the AEWC Manager of Technical Services.

Dagher lauded the Patricks for their contributions to the center and to UMaine where they are alumni of the class of 1962 and members of the President’s Development Council. Dagher noted that, because of the Patricks’ support, the center has realized new funding and forged new partnerships. This support has been instrumental in acquiring $5 million for a major AEWC initiative with the U.S. Navy, Maine Marine Manufacturing, and Hodgdon Yachts, an East Boothbay company, to develop the Mark V.1, a special operations craft.

This project will showcase the AEWC Center’s research and development (R&D) capacities; it will position Hodgdon Yachts to bid on construction of a new fleet of Mark V.1 craft; and it has the potential to create an industry niche for Maine’s boatbuilders.

Lindyberg received a Director’s Award for his dedication and assistance to the AEWC Center during 2004. Lindyberg’s role in securing funding and managing the Mark V.1 project as well as his work strengthening and expanding AEWC’s industrial partnerships were noted as outstanding contributions during this critical time in the Center’s history.

“Linda and I have always been passionate supporters of the University of Maine,” said Tom Patrick. “As members of the President’s Development council and as small business owners, we saw opportunities to link AEWC’s international leadership in composite materials to businesses in the state. No better examples of which are a number of projects already underway and others being pursued by the partnership between AEWC and Hodgdon Yachts in Boothbay Harbor. For us to be honored, more importantly speaks for the university, its students who work at AEWC and the economy of Maine.”

Dagher noted that since the Patricks arranged for then UMaine President Peter Hoff and Tom Patrick to speak to a group of Boothbay students, ties between the community and the AEWC Center have flourished. This event had two significant results. First, as a result of Hoff’s and Dagher’s presentations, two Boothbay students, Adam Benedict and Zachary Jones, both made the decision to attend the university’s College of Engineering and have been employed as student research assistants at the AEWC Center.

A second result of this visit has been a partnership between Hodgdon Yachts and the AEWC Center. Hodgdon had previously been contracting with a testing laboratory in Nova Scotia to complete safety and durability testing of its work as required by its insurer. Since Hoff’s and Dagher’s visit to the community, Hodgdon learned of UMaine’s capacities and has been collaborating with the AEWC Center in its quality testing program.

Dagher also noted that the Patricks were influential in their advocacy for Maine’s June 2003 Jobs Bond Referendum which has funded expanded AEWC laboratory facilities adding capacities for resin infusion, wood plastic composites extrusion and special projects in product development. This expansion of AEWC laboratories (to 48,000 sq. ft.) houses R&D projects developing a new insulated, composite roof panel system, a new triangular strand lumber product that transforms pulpwood-grade logs into a construction material three times stronger than the original wood, and an oriented strand lumber (OSL) construction product that bonds wood strands together to produce studs, joists, beams and headers for the upscale housing market.

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The AEWC Center is an ISO 17025 certified 48,000 sq ft state-of-the-art “one stop shop” for integrated composite materials research, development and testing. The center’s nine laboratories provide the State of Maine and beyond with capacities for the development of composite materials and structures from the conceptual stage through research, manufacturing prototypes, and subsequent testing and evaluation. Currently, over 100 AEWC employees (including academic researchers, engineers and scientists and other staff, as well as both undergraduate and graduate University of Maine students) are engaged in projects including the design, construction and evaluation of demonstration bridges and piers utilizing composite materials. They also focus on the development of composite materials for marine infrastructure and for disaster resistant housing, research for both the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army, as well as development and testing of consumer products including decking materials, skateboards and an array of home and commercial construction materials. The Center has been granted 8 patents and has 5 more patent applications pending. AEWC has recently received the Governor’s Award for Accomplishments in Maine’s natural resource-based industries and an award from FAME for its outstanding example of the integration of business and higher education. The Center is funded by grants from the National Science Foundation, the Federal Highway Administration, the Office of Naval Research, the United States Department of Agriculture, the United States Coast Guard and the Maine Technology Institute. Additionally, AEWC works with industrial clients on a contractual basis providing product development and testing services.


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The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
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