CCM director Jack Gillespie recognized by international professional society

John W. (Jack) Gillespie Jr., director of the University of Delaware Center for Composite Materials (CCM), has been named a fellow of the Society for Advanced Materials and Process Engineering (SAMPE).

The designation recognizes SAMPE members for their distinguished lifelong contributions in the fields of materials and processes. Since its inception in 1982, only 147 individuals have been designated as SAMPE fellows.

Gillespie, Donald C. Phillips Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering with appointments in the departments of Materials Science and Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, was cited for his “lifelong contributions to the advancement of the science and engineering of composite materials through the education of students and development and transition of composites technology to industry.”

He and the other four 2015 SAMPE Fellows will be honored at a special ceremony at the Composites and Advanced Materials Expo in Dallas, Texas, on Oct. 26.

Gillespie’s 34-year career at the University of Delaware is marked by a number of major accomplishments, including the creation and commercialization of new processes, automated equipment, materials and composite structures. These accomplishments have led to 17 patents and more than 750 publications, including 158 SAMPE papers co-authored with his students and research collaborators and presented at annual SAMPE meetings.

“Jack has had a significant impact on furthering the insertion of composite materials in various applications by addressing the technological hurdles in a systematic and scientific way,” says CCM associate director Suresh Advani.

Gillespie has also been heavily involved with the education of students at the interdisciplinary CCM. In addition to advising more than 90 master’s and doctoral students, he has served as the faculty adviser for the UD SAMPE student chapter since 2000 and received SAMPE’s Faculty Advisers Award in 2001.

“Jack has made a tremendous commitment to supporting student groups who have competed successfully in SAMPE design competitions,” says Advani, who is also George W. Laird Professor of Mechanical Engineering. “His graduate students have also done well in research competitions, with four of his doctoral students winning the Ph.D. competition and presenting at meetings in Europe and Japan.”

Gillespie has also been proactive in promoting composites at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and minority institutions (MIs). He was a member of the National Science Foundation task force for development of the first doctoral program at Tuskegee University. Today, he is an adjunct faculty member at Tuskegee.

He also served as chair of the external advisory board for the NSF CREST program for Southern University, and he has hosted faculty and students from both of these HBCUs at CCM.

About the professor 

Jack Gillespie has served as a member of the National Research Council Board on Manufacturing and Engineering Design and as chair of the National Materials Advisory Board Committee on High-Performance Structural Fibers for Advanced Polymer-Matrix Composites. He has been editor of the Journal of Thermoplastic Composite Materialssince 1993, and he serves on numerous editorial boards.

Gillespie earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in mechanical and aerospace engineering at UD.

He has received a number of awards, including most recently the American Society of Civil Engineers Charles Pankow Award for Innovation for commercializing composite bridge structures.  He is also a fellow of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and the American Society for Composites (ASC).

FacultySAMPE Fellow