This course will provide knowledge-based, industrial-oriented sessions on assembly, joining and repair of high-performance composite structures with contributions from academics, and distinguished speakers from industry and regulatory sectors. This is an intense four-day course with learning exercises including in class sessions, world-class laboratory visits with activities, and aircraft incident/repair investigations to be held at Cranfield airport.

The globally growing market for composites and their increasing widespread use in critical structures (aerospace,automotive,energy, marine) has necessitated an urgent need for reliable integration, joining and repairs of composite structures, especially in the nearly £50bn aircraft industry and its maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) sector. There is an ever increasing need for the development of reliable composite joining, welding, bonding, fastening and repair techniques in response to the growing market of high performance composite structures. However, development of the underlying knowledge is not keeping pace with this demand.

Alongside their well-known advantageous properties, their poor structural integrity in response to dynamic and impact events is still a major concern, with the challenge of detecting invisible damage that occurs in such events. In extreme circumstances, this could result in catastrophic structural failure in-service if not detected and repaired. Moreover, integrated and repaired composite structures must comply with certification and regulatory requirements for initial and continued airworthiness. It must be possible to ensure their integrity (e.g. bond effectiveness) and reliability using non-destructive inspection techniques.

Cranfield University Composites Centre (Enhanced Composites and Structures Centre) has more than 20 years of experience of research, development and teaching across composites materials, composites manufacture, process control and material/structure performance. The centre currently delivers to an international audience of postgraduate students and industrial clients (Airbus, AkzoNobel, Bentley, Bombardier, Hexcel, McLaren, Rolls-Royce, Safran, Scott Bader, RedBull, Petronas, etc). The centre has unique materials processing, compounding, filament making, nanomaterials production and composites characterisation facilities. We are able to deliver bespoke training courses covering a broad range of composites related topics, via online or in-person attendance.

At a glance

Course structure

The course will be delivered by lectures, practical sessions, laboratory, airport and aircraft visits and exercises, group sessions, NDI exercises, composite impact and bonding exercises. All teaching material will be provided in advance.

What you will learn

The course delegates will:

  • Experience an intense knowledge-based industrial oriented learning sessions on composite integration, repair and joining with contributions from academics, composite manufacturers, MRO's and regulatory sectors.
  • Learn about the function of polymer composites in high performance structures.
  • Appreciate a variety of integration, repair and joining procedures in composite structures from fastening, thermoset adhesive bonding to thermoplastic welding.
  • Understand deterioration mechanisms occurring in processing and assembly of composite materials and structures.
  • Learn about adhesive bond damage tolerance and failure assessment procedures.
  • Enable strain sensing in adhesively bonded hybrid composite joints with smart nanomaterials.
  • Learn about composite repair certifications.
  • Visit world-class high TRL composite manufacturing and non-destructive inspection facilities at Cranfield University.
  • Carry out aircraft incident and repair investigations at Cranfield Airport.
  • Carry out mock-up lab sessions on composite impact damage, NDI and repair.

Core content

The following content will be covered:

  • Introduction to composite structural integrity.
  • Best practices in bonding, bolting and assembly approaches.
  • Process-induced defects in composite fastening and bonding.
  • Mechanical fastening options for carbon fiber composites - some selection guidance.
  • Adhesive bond damage tolerance and failure assessment.
  • Smart self-sensing nanocomposites and composite joints.
  • Tailored composite bonded repair.
  • Self-healing bonding applications.
  • Serviceability of smart composites.
  • Aerospace composite repair - regulatory perspective.
  • Automated machining and surface preparation for composite repair.
  • Thermoplastic welding.
  • Laboratory exercise on composite impact damage, NDI and bonded repair.
  • Visit composite manufacturing and NDI facilities.
  • Visit to Cranfield airport and carry out a Boeing737 incident/repair investigation
  • Composites tufting.


Day Morning Lunch Afternoon
09:00-10:30 10:30-11:00 11:00-12:30 12:30-13:30 13:30-15:00 15:00-15:30 15:30-17:00
Day 1:
Academic perspective
  Break Session 1.1
& welcome
Lunch Session 1.2 Break Lab visit
Day 2:
Academic perspective
Session 2.1 Session 2.2 Session 2.3 Airport &
aircraft visit
Day 3:
Industrial perspective
Session 3.1 Session 3.2 Session 3.3 Session 3.4
Day 4:
Industrial perspective
Session 4.1 Session 4.2 Session 4.3
& wrap-up

Who should attend

This course is ideally suitable for:

  • Aircraft/aerospace engineers
  • Airlines’ maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) delegates
  • Automotive/racing car engineers
  • Marine engineers
  • Renewable energy engineers (e.g. wind energy)
  • Pressure vessels, piping and Oil&Gas engineers
  • Civil and structural engineers
  • Military and naval engineering staff
  • Composite and materials engineers
  • Mechanical engineers
  • Research engineers
  • Stressing and design engineers
  • Certification engineers and regulators
  • Accident investigation staff
  • Design and technical management personnel


Mr. Andrew Mills (Cranfield)
Dr. Vijay Thakur Kumar (Cranfield)
Dr. David Ayre (Cranfield)
Dr. Pavan Addepalli (Cranfield)
Dr. Lawrence Cook (Cranfield)
Dr. Alex Skordos (Cranfield)
Mr. Abdul Abushalla (Cranfield)
Mr. Richard Jones (Cranfield Aerospace Ltd.)


Dr. Max Davis (Director of Adhesion Associates Proprietary Limited, formerly at Directorate General Technical Airworthiness, Royal Australian Air Force) (not attending January session)
Dr. Simon Waite (Senior Expert, Certificate Directorate, European Aviation Safety Agency)
Dr. Kali Katnam (Lecturer in structural engineering, Manchester University)
Mr. Tobias Adguna (Lufthansa Technik)
Dr. Roger Wise (Ultrawise Innovation Ltd.)


20% discount for Cranfield Alumni. 
10% discount when registering 3 or more delegates, from the same organisation at the same time.  

Accommodation fees are not included in the discount scheme. Please ask about our discount scheme at time of booking.

Accommodation options and prices

We are pleased to offer an exclusive accommodation package at Mitchell Hall. Located on campus, all rooms are en-suite and available on a half-board basis from Sunday to Friday. The cost of this package is £396. If you would like to book this accommodation package* for this short course, please indicate this on the registration form.
*Subject to availability.

Alternatively, you may wish to make your own arrangement at a nearby hotel.

Location and travel

Cranfield University is situated in Bedfordshire close to the border with Buckinghamshire. The University is located almost midway between the towns of Bedford and Milton Keynes and is conveniently situated between junctions 13 and 14 of the M1.

London Luton, Stansted and Heathrow airports are 30, 90 and 90 minutes respectively by car, offering superb connections to and from just about anywhere in the world. 

For further location and travel details

Location address

Cranfield University
College Road 
MK43 0AL

How to apply

To apply for this course please use the online application form.

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.