Dedication, learning, progress

Craig Carr, GKN Aerospace’s integrated composite structures technology director
Craig Carr, GKN Aerospace’s integrated composite structures technology director

Defined by learning, technology acceleration and technology achievements, GKN Aerospace’s integrated composite structures technology director, Craig Carr explains why his career in aerospace manufacturing has been a fulfilling one.

My journey in aerospace manufacturing has been a fulfilling one, defined by learning, technology acceleration and technology achievements. It all began with my academic pursuits, where I earned a Materials Engineering BEng (Hons) degree followed by a Masters of Research degree, setting the stage for my career.

Throughout my time at BAE Systems and later at GKN Aerospace, my focus has always been on the intricate world of composites manufacturing. My career within the aerospace industry has been primarily built upon composites manufacturing development for fast jet military and civil aerostructures. From contributing to research and technology programmes to my current role as the integrated composite structures technology director, I've remained dedicated to advancing composites in the aerospace industry. Beyond formal roles, I also serve as the chairman of the Composites Leadership Forum (CLF) in the UK, where I aim to provide support to the composite community and explore collaborative opportunities.

A notable moment in my career was gaining approval from Innovate UK for GKN's involvement in the Wing of Tomorrow project with Airbus. The manufacturing of the composite demonstrators under that programme is a true milestone, positioning GKN Aerospace for the next generation aircraft. Another important programme is ASCEND bringing together the best of automotive and aerospace composites technologies in a collaborative three-year programme developing UK supply chain for future air transport composites manufacturing capability.

While I've received recognition for my expertise, including being named a GKN Global Engineering Technical Level 6 Expert, I see these acknowledgments as a reflection of the collective effort of the teams I've had the privilege to work with.

At GKN Aerospace, it is our mission to be the most trusted and sustainable partner in the sky. The demand for lighter, stronger and low maintenance composite wing structures seamlessly fits our sustainability goals. With GKN Aerospace we have delivered some key large scale primary structures for both thermoplastic and thermoset material systems in the past few years that we have had the pleasure of exhibiting at the JEC event.

As we look to industrialise these capabilities for our customers our next challenges have continued to emerge. Within the aerospace composites sector, the use of composites for hydrogen tanks, lightweight structures for the advanced air mobility market and composite sustainability have all come to the forefront of our programmes and offer exciting challenges to us and our aerospace supply chains. We therefore continue to look for and develop technology and innovation for our composites capability in these areas and regard the JEC event as one of our key networking opportunities.

In conclusion, my career is a story of quiet dedication, learning, and progress in aerospace manufacturing. I take pride in the impact I've had on projects, teams, and the broader aerospace manufacturing landscape, all while seamlessly integrating into the development of more sustainable aviation through my work in composites.


GKN Aerospace

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