South Carolina hosts third annual Aerospace Conference and Expo

Aerospace Industry Continues to Diversify as it Moves Towards Sustainable Growth

Niki Haley Aero ConferenceColumbia, SC (August 23, 2016)
The third annual South Carolina Aerospace Conference and Expo opens this Wed., Aug. 24 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center in Columbia, S.C. The event will connect industry, academia and government to showcase the increasing diversification and sustainable growth of South Carolina’s aerospace cluster.

The two-day event offers two program options for attendees: an industry track including a business-to- business networking event and presentations from industry, higher education and government leaders; and a research track featuring the technical symposium ACE’16 and the Advance Design Concepts and Practice Workshop (ADCP), which is making its US debut this year. ADCP has previously been held in Europe and China.

Former NASA Astronaut and Navy Captain, Winston Scott, will offer the keynote address during the annual Aerospace Dinner on Wednesday evening.

SHP_9930An industry “cluster” is a group of complementary businesses that focuses on or serves the same industry. They come together to increase efficiency and innovation within that industry, while boosting the overall economy in a region. Clusters attract more businesses to an area and provide more opportunities for existing businesses to grow.

South Carolina’s aerospace cluster includes manufacturing, air transportation and air transportation support services firms operating in the private sector and the state’s four military aviation facilities.

When the impact of South Carolina’s four military aviation facilities are combined with private sector firms, the total economic impact of aerospace in South Carolina is over $19 billion in economic impact and over 100,000 jobs.

Key industry track speakers include:

  • Joan Robinson-Berry, Boeing South Carolina’s Vice President and General Manager
  • William Garvey, Editor-in-Chief, Business and Commercial Aviation
  • Don Erickson, Lockheed Martin
  • Patricia Watts, FAA
  • Carole Hedden, Executive Editorial Director, Aviation Week Executive Intelligence
  • Hossein Haj-Hariri, Dean, College of Engineering and Computing, University of South Carolina
  • Anand Gramopadhye, Dean, College of Engineering and Science, Clemson University 
Technical track keynote speakers include:
  • Andries Buitenhuis, Fokker Aerostructures BV, The Netherlands
  • David Dress, Deputy, Space Technology Projects Office, NASA Langley Research Center
  • Don Farr, Technical Fellow, Boeing Research and Technology
  • Joaquim Martins, Professor, University of Michigan
  • Paul Morgan, Executive Vice President for Unmanned Aircraft Systems, VX Aerospace

The South Carolina Aerospace Conference and Expo is organized by the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness, the McNAIR Center for Aerospace Innovation and Research at the University of South Carolina, the South Carolina Department of Commerce, the South Carolina Aeronautics Commission and the South Carolina Aviation Association.

On Wednesday, two studies on the aerospace industry will be released. The South Carolina Council on Competitiveness will release updated economic impact data on the aerospace industry, and Penton’s Aviation Week Network will release the results of the state’s first aerospace and defense manufacturing workforce study. The study was conducted in collaboration with North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Florida to develop the Southeast region’s first deep-dive report on the state of the aerospace manufacturing industrial base. The South Carolina Council on Competitiveness, the South Carolina Aeronautics Commission, the South Carolina Technical College System and the University of South Carolina contributed to the execution of the study in South Carolina.