Multimatic’s Dr. Hannes Fuchs Wins SPE Best Technical Paper Award

TROY, Michigan (September 14th, 2011) – For the second year in a row, Multimatic’s technical expertise in the area of applied composites research and development received the top award for a paper at the SPE Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition.

Dr. Hannes Fuchs submitted his paper titled “Automotive Composites Consortium Underbody Component & Assembly Structural Test-Analysis Correlation”, which received the highest score of all submissions and further strengthened Dr. Fuchs’ and Multimatic’s reputations as being world leaders in advanced composites research and development.

USCAR Underbody Study

From left to right: Dr. Hannes Fuchs, Libby Berger (GM/ACC), Bhavesh Shah (GM/ACC), Chuck Knakal (USCAR)

Dr. Fuchs presented his paper in the “Finalizing the Design & Development of a Structural Composite Underbody” session at the SPE Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition on September 14th, 2011. The paper discussed preparation and fabrication of underbody test assemblies for USCAR’s multi-year study on the feasibility of a structural composite underbody for a mid-size car. Discussion centered on structural stiffness and modal performance testing of trimmed underbody molded components and assemblies, and the destructive testing of said assemblies. The predicted performance was investigated for two composite thickness assumptions to account for the additional thickness observed in the prototype components. Predictions were then compared to measured test results to understand the status of correlation between the response of idealized components and the as-molded prototype test components. Predictions were found to be in good agreement with testing.

Automotive Composite Consortium: Structural Composites Underbody

Dr. Fuchs, who also won an SPE ACCE Best Paper Award in 2010, has 19 years of experience in advanced engineering and R&D of composite and lightweight structures. He came to the automotive industry from the NASA-Virginia Tech Composites Program and from post-doctoral research activities at the NASA Langley Research Center. Initially joining then General Motors Corp.’s Research & Development department, Dr. Fuchs conducted research on advanced lightweight and crashworthy carbon composite automotive structures. After six years, he joined Multimatic where he has managed and directed engineering activities including design engineering, computer-aided engineering, prototype and production manufacture, tooling, and testing of a wide range of advanced and composite structures. He is recognized as an industry expert in the design and application of lightweight structures and materials. Dr. Fuchs holds BSME and MSME degrees from the University of Maryland and a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech.