The South Carolina Council on Competitiveness convened over 20 representatives of the SC Aerospace support chain on April 23 to tour the USC Ronald E. McNAIR Center for Aerospace Innovation & Research. The McNAIR Center is one of the newest and exciting assets in South Carolina’s growing aerospace ecosystem.
McNAIR was launched with the generous financial support of three aerospace and education champions: Darla Moore, Anita Zucker and Marva Smalls. The center is named after Ronald E. McNair, a native of Lake City who earned a doctorate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was a NASA astronaut. His career was cut short in the Challenger space shuttle tragedy in 1986. Today, the McNAIR Center seeks to inspire youths to seek STEM careers and to develop engineers and scientists, who like McNair, push boundaries and will work to transform South Carolina into a national hub for the aerospace industry.
The initial research thrust areas for McNAIR Center are:
- Steered Carbon Fiber Composites and other Non-conventional Laminated Materials;
- Automated Novel Structural Composite Part Production;
- Multi-disciplinary Design Optimization of Composite (Aircraft) Structures and Systems; and
- Automated, Fusion Based, Assembly to reduce or eliminate the need for mechanical fasteners (rivets) in aircraft structures.
The members of the SC Aerospace support chain include several education and training-related organizations that offer aerospace and aviation related courses and programs. The organizations cover the education spectrum from K-12 to higher education and include public and private entities.
The support chain is convened twice a year by the SC Council on Competitiveness and the SC Department of Commerce to talk about needs, opportunities to collaborate and to learn about existing resources relevant to the industry. The event series is one of many activities implemented by the SC Council on Competitiveness in partnership with the SC Department of Commerce to develop South Carolina’s aerospace cluster.
For more information, contact Director of Aerospace Initiatives for the SC Council on Competitiveness Deborah Cameron at firstname.lastname@example.org.