Increasing the State's Resiliency to Fluctuations in Defense Spending by Strengthening the Carbon Composite Sector Knowledge Base


While Utah’s carbon composites industrial sector includes a significant footprint in commercial aerospace and sports equipment manufacturing, the regional carbon composites industry is heavily weighted toward supporting DoD products and missions. This relative imbalance means shifts in DoD utilization of the regional carbon composites supply chain significantly impact the regional aerospace and sports manufacturing industries. An example is the current near crisis level of available skilled labor in the technical workforce. This situation will be exacerbated by Hill AFB staffing needs with significant increases in the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter maintenance, repair, modification workload . These acute increases combined with recent and projected national defense spending decline of 28 percent from FY 2011 to 2019 create significant challenges in maintaining and growing a regional carbon composites ecosystem.

For Utah to understand, mitigate and even take advantage of challenges to the carbon composites ecosystem the University of Utah, leading the Utah Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Initiative (UAMMI), is seeking a grant from the Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment to undertake the project of mapping the Aerospace and Defense (A&D) carbon composites supply chain. This mapping includes workforce development and training elements. This project will enable an effort to stabilize the ecosystem and look toward future growth and diversification of the supply chain assuring a highly resilient carbon composites ecosystem for supporting regional DoD work and Utah’s overall economy. Outcomes from this project will include a stronger, more coordinated regional A&D supply chain ultimately producing increased corporate efficiencies, coordinated additions of high wage, benefitted jobs within the A&D labor force and an increased set of regional contracting capabilities for regional Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) and an improved composite industrial base.


Juniper screenshot

Carolina Nobre, Marc Streit, Alexander Lex
Juniper: A Tree+Table Approach to Multivariate Graph Visualization
IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (InfoVis), 2019

VDL Project Staff

 Alexander Lex  Kiran Gadhave

VDL Project Alumni

  • Carolina Nobre

Funded by

The Department of Defense





Principal Investigator

  • Gregory Jones


Awarded Amount:

$ 3,792,367

Share at VDL:

$ 172,961

Last Updated