Cost: $250

This course provides the students with the background knowledge related to composite material applications, materials, processes, manufacturing, structural design, proof of structures, maintenance, Aeroelastic issues, crashworthiness, fire safety and lightning protection. This course serves as a foundation course for the follow-on courses which elaborate on the aforementioned topics.

Prerequisites: Instructors consent.

Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • List the constituents of composite materials, their forms and characteristics, advantages and disadvantages.
  • Interpret lamination(layup) code, classify laminates based on layup, and list the design and manufacturing options for laminates.
  • Identify FAA regulation documents.
  • List/recognize the features of Materials and Process Specifications, materials and process controls, statistical process control.
  • List/recognize the key features of common manufacturing processes for laminates and sandwich structures, different curing methods, tooling and equipment, manufacturing defects, assembly of composite parts, regulations and guidance relevant to composite manufacturing.
  • List/recognize/summarize the typical composite structural design details, assumptions and governing equations of lamination theory, composite failure modes, environmental considerations, mechanical properties and design values, design criteria, design-manufacturing interface, maintenance considerations.
  • List/recognize/summarize the factors affecting the composite structural reliability, typical building-block certification plan, basic requirements for composite aircraft structures with damage.
  • List/recognize/summarize the maintenance practices, substantiation of repairs, damage courses and types, damage detection and disposition, damage characterization, repair and maintenance teamwork.
  • List/recognize/summarize the fundamental aspects and terminology associated with flutter and Aeroelasticity, crashworthiness, fire safety and fuel tank issues, and lightning protection.

Credit Hours

Success in this 0.5 credit hour course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of 7.5 hours over the length of the course in online instruction as provided by the instructor and an additional 15 hours outside of class reading, reflecting, and evaluating the topics for a total of 22.5 hours.


Suresh Raju, Ph.D.

Dr. Suresh Raju is an Associate Professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, Wichita State University.  Dr. Raju's interests include damage tolerance of sandwich structures, rate sensitivity of composite materials and fatigue of fastener joints.  Dr. Raju has been involved with the experimental investigation on rate sensitivity of composite materials for crashworthiness applications.  Dr. Raju received his B.E. in Mechanical Engineering from Bangalore University, India and PhD in Aerospace Engineering from Wichita State University.