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Research team named finalists for international composites award

A photo of Hota GangaRao and Praveen Majjigapu.

The Next-Gen Composite System is a finalist for the Awards for Composites Excellence competition.


A research team from West Virginia University has been selected as a finalist for the Awards for Composites Excellence.

Hota GangaRao, the Maurice and JoAnn Wadsworth Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering, and doctoral candidate Praveen Majjigapu, have been named finalists in the Most Creative Application category for their NextGen Composite System.

The system is a three-piece structural joint strengthening  system consisting of filler modules — wedge-like parts made to certain specifications — reinforcing dowels and composite materials allows buildings and bridges to resist heavier loads and provides a significant amount of shock absorption under extreme blast forces as well as moisture and fire resistance. The patented system will increase the strength and endurance of structures in earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes and other large impacts, helping communities prevent catastrophe. The system is also beneficial for repairing historic or aging structures or structures with design and/or construction flaws.

Tests have shown that renewed joints can withstand 500 percent more force than unfortified joints.

The Most Creative Application award is presented to the composites product that showcases composites’ use in a unique, new application or uses composites’ attributes in imaginative, innovative or artistic ways. The product should show evidence of significantly replacing traditional materials, or show innovative use or refinement of existing composites materials that impacts current or new markets. Candidate product entries for this award include both production and prototype/research and development.

ACE winners will be announced at CAMX, the Composites and Advanced Materials Expo, which will be held October 15-18 in Dallas, Texas.



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