ACMA honored innovation, research and dedicated industry volunteers at CAMX – The Composites and Advanced Materials Expo.

For the past 21 years, ACMA's Awards for Composites Excellence (ACE) have recognized the superior product and process achievements that help bring the composites industry to the forefront of innovation. The products, equipment and processes that receive this distinguished recognition have made a significant impact within the composites market and demonstrate a proven understanding of the industry.

Design Category:

  • The Innovation in Green Composites Design Award is presented to the composites product that best exemplifies innovation that lowers/minimizes the environmental footprint or offers an attractive life cycle assessment (LCA) of the product. The award was presented to Blackbird Guitars of San Francisco for the Blackbird Ukulele Made of Lingrove's Ekoa Flax/Bioresin Prepreg.
  • The Most Creative Application Award is presented to the composites product that showcases composites use in a unique, new application or use composites' attributes in imaginative, innovative, or artistic ways. Celanese Corporation of Winona, Minn. and Southwire Company, LLC of Carrollton, Ga. won the award for Stranded Composite Core for High Voltage Transmission Conductors.

Manufacturing Category:

  • The Equipment and Tooling Innovation Award is presented to the equipment, tooling, production aid or software that is designed to improve manufacturing production, environmental sustainability, or product quality and performance in composites manufacturing. TSE Industries Inc. of Clearwater, Fl. won the award for Near Dripless Resin Impregnation Applicator for Filament Winding Applications.
  • The Materials and Process Innovation Award is presented to a material or process that best contributes to efficient manufacturing and product sustainability. The award was won by MarkForged of Somerville, Mass. for 3D Printing Continuous Strand Carbon Fiber, Glass Fiber and Kevlar Composites.

Market Growth Category:

  • The Composites Sustainability Award is presented to the composites product that clearly demonstrates an improvement in the environmental impact of the product's use. The award was presented to Cargo Composites of Charleston, S. C. for Lightweight Composite Air Cargo Container Lowers Lifecycle Costs.
  • The Infinite Possibility for Market Growth Award is presented to the composites product that demonstrates the potential to significantly increase the use of composites in existing markets or generate the greatest impact to open new and emerging markets for composites. Composite Panel Systems, LLC of Eagle River, Wisc. won the award for Epitome Quality Foundation Walls.

In addition to honoring industry innovations with the ACE awards, ACMA also recognized the exceptional people who have played a great role in advancing the field of composites.

The Outstanding Volunteer Award is given to ACMA members who have contributed significant volunteer time and effort to achieve positive results on behalf of the industry through service to ACMA. The 2014 ACMA Outstanding Volunteer Award winners are:

  • Kenneth Lipovsky, Cast Polymer Application Specialist, Reichold Inc. Lipovsky has been chair of the ICPA Technical Committee for more than 20 years. He has served on the ICPA Board of Advisors for many years, run the "Cast Polymer Hotline" for years and has presented numerous times at conventions. In his previous position with Reichhold, he solved a variety of technical, material and manufacturing problems for hundreds of composites companies.
  • Thomas Johnson- Corrosion Industry Manager, Ashland Performance Materials. Johnson has devoted years of his technical expertise and industry knowledge to ACMA and led the very successful 2012 and 2013 ACMA Chemical Processing Symposiums. Johnson is a collaborative leader who has strengthened ACMA's partnership with NACE and the corrosion community. From the Corrosion Control Division, to conference presentations and technical expertise to the launch of, Johnson's dedication to ACMA and his willingness to take on a significant amount of volunteer responsibility continually proves to be an invaluable resource for ACMA's membership and staff.

The ACMA Hall of Fame honors those who have attained distinction among their peers through their efforts, involvement and accomplishments in the composites industry and its associations. The 2014 ACMA Hall of Fame inductees are:

  • David Denny, Executive Vice President, Molded Fiber Glass Companies. Denny is known for his pioneering spirit and is regarded as a friendly, dependable resource and a mentor to many. He launched a new, high-tech focused factory with self-managed work teams that is very profitable and a leader in the industry. He also negotiated one of the first five-year contracts with the UAW that included profit sharing. Denny also established one of the leading market analyses for the composites industry detailing products, customers and competitor profiles; this market study was used to help develop the strategic direction of the company.
  • Kenneth Lipovsky, Cast Polymer Application Specialist, Reichold Inc. In addition to receiving the Outstanding Volunteer Award, Lipovsky was also inducted into the ACMA Hall of Fame. His contribution to the industry has been immense, but colleagues say that even more important is his willingness to help people with problems and act as a "friend of the industry."

The Chairman's Award is an ACMA tradition, chosen by the chairman of the ACMA board. Current chairman Jay Merrell gave the award to Bill Kreysler of Kreysler & Associates and to Monty Felix of Alaglas Swimming Pools for their enthusiasm, creativity, leadership and dedication to ACMA and the composites industry.

ACMA's Lifetime Achievement Award is given to someone who has been involved in the composites industry for at least 20 years, who has made a significant and lasting contribution to the industry. The 2014 ACMA Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Dave Mohnke, Chairman of E-T-M Enterprises.

An FRP pioneer, Mohnke began his career at Oldsmobile, where he became a Journeyman wood model maker. He then became General Manager of Eaton Model and Pattern, a tooling shop supporting Dow/Smith Corp. in Ionia, Mich. There he developed and produced the hood and rear deck composite molds for the 1967 Boss Mustang; these were the first low-volume automotive cold-molded FRP parts. Mohnke also tooled and produced the rear spoiler for American Motors "Troy Donahue" Trans-Am race car. Seeing the potential for cold molding, Mohnke launched E-T-M Enterprises in 1970. In the early years, Mohnke and his team refined the process and developed specific criteria for producing closed-mold, matched, laminate molds used in the Cold Mold process. Mohnke also spent those early years evangelizing customers and prospects on the value and viability of cold molding. For more than 40 years, E-T-M grew steadily, working for customers in a variety of industries. Starting from a workforce of one in his garage more than forty years ago, Mohnke now operates a composites business that has employed thousands of people and is a valued customer and supplier in the composites industry.

E-T-M has been the largest employer in Grand Ledge, Mich. for more than 30 years. Mohnke and his company have enjoyed an illustrious history of achievement. In 1971, E-T-M produced the largest compression molded part (120 pounds) in the country, the Diamond Reo roof. He instituted an apprentice program at E-T-M in 1972, graduating 27 Journeymen. In 1973, E-T-M produced all the composite tooling for the Bricklin (sports car) and provided training in the Cold Mold process to the Bricklin plant in Minto, New Brunswick, Canada. E-T-M molded the first Integral Sleeper Cab Roof for Volvo Truck in 1986 and partnered with Freightliner in 1992 to develop their first SkyRise Sleeper Roof, the first for the heavy truck industry. In 2008, the company expanded into wind energy with a new production facility supporting Siemens Wind Power.

Mohnke is action-oriented, passionate and a tireless proponent of composites. He has taken his leadership capabilities into his community where he has held responsible management positions with a number of community and charitable organizations. He has presented at numerous industry conferences over the course of 40 years.

"Our ACE and ACMA award winners exemplify the spirit of our association," said Jay Merrell, Chair of the ACMA board and Vice President, Norplex-Micarta. "I'd like to congratulate all of the award winners today for representing the innovation and leadership found throughout ACMA. Together, we are truly shaping the future of the composites industry."

Read more about the 2014 ACMA awards presented at CAMX
Read more about the 2014 ACE awards presented at CAMX.

CAMX Kicks Off with Keynote and Awards


CAMX 2014 opened with its general session, featuring a keynote address by Kevin Mickey, president of Scaled Composites LLC. Mickey focused on CAMX's theme of innovation in his remarks, urging composites companies to cultivate an attitude he described as, "If you can dream it, you can build it." Mickey, who has been in the aerospace industry for close to thirty years – 23 of them at Scaled Composites and four at Lockheed Martin Skunk Works – knows a thing or two about leading innovative teams.

Scaled Composites has broad experience with air vehicle design, tooling and manufacturing, composites structure design and analysis, and fabrication. The company has been involved in numerous firsts in aerospace including:

  • SpaceShipOne – the first privately funded, manned, high-altitude, suborbital rocket
  • The first private aircraft to exceed Mach 3
  • The first private aircraft to exceed altitudes of 100km
  • The first private reusable spacecraft
  • The fastest global, non-stop, unrefueled circumnavigation
  • The longest nonstop, unrefueled flight
  • SpaceShipTwo – a prototype of the world's first commercial operations spacecraft consisting of an aircraft launched rocket. It was the largest all-composite aircraft ever built.

Mickey, who noted that "success is rarely easy," says that successful companies must make room for innovation by:

  • Taking calculated risks – Mickey feels too many companies are afraid to take risks and consequently miss out on innovation.
  • Persevering in the face of adversity (SpaceShipOne's development included a fire and a hard landing.)
  • Employing tireless, insanely optimistic leaders who are willing to help set audacious goals.
  • Remaining flexible - for example, allowing staff to run to the hardware store at 6 p.m. for a bolt rather than stop working because of stringent supply procedures.
  • Promoting exciting projects that get staff fired up to come to work in the morning.
  • Creating an environment marked by fun and innovation without career impact, which gives employees creativity and the freedom to innovate.
  • Rapid prototyping – Mickey notes that when innovating, "It is better to be wrong fast."

The general session also included the presentation of two new CAMX Awards recognizing cutting-edge innovations and innovators that are shaping the future of composites and advanced materials in the marketplace. Sponsored by Ashland Inc., the following inaugural CAMX Awards were presented:

  • The Combined Strength Award was presented to NASA in cooperation with Boeing for the Composite Cryotank Technologies & Demonstration (CCTD) project. This award recognizes a composites product that clearly demonstrates a team approach and effort that brings together knowledge, resources and talent to produce an incredible example of the best use of composites materials that solves a problem.
  • The Unsurpassed Innovation Award was presented to Composite Panel Systems LLC for Epitome Quality Foundation Walls for a composites product that clearly demonstrates a novel design which bridges high-performance materials and low-volume manufacturing, or vice versa, to create an innovative product with the potential to significantly impact new markets.

Maintaining Your CCT Certification

Certified Composites Technicians must recertify their credentials on a three-year cycle. The CCT recertification program is a self-study course designed to reinforce the information learned in the original certification process, and to add new information to the learning experience. The Recertification Workbook includes a review of selected CCT information, sections on plant safety issues, and an introduction to composites processing technologies that were not discussed in the original CCT manual. Please read each portion of the workbook carefully and answer the open-book exam questions for each section.

ACMA will contact you within three months warning to renew your certification. Should you have any questions about your CCT standing or expiration date, please contact us at

Steps to Recertify

Step 1: Verify your expiration date on your CCT certificate.

Step 2: Browse your CCT recertification program on the ACMA Education Hub and add it to your cart for purchase. (To pay by check, please contact us at 

Step 3: Once you have purchased the recertification program, the workbook and exam will be immediately available in your "My Learning Activities" section of the Education Hub.

Step 4: After reviewing the recertification workbook, open the recertification exam and begin. This exam can be saved and revisited as many times as necessary before you submit it for grading. Remember, this is an open-book exam and using your recertification workbook as a reference is encouraged.

Step 5: Once you have submitted your recertification exam, it will be automatically graded. If you have passed the exam, a notice will display on your screen allowing you to print a temporary certificate. ACMA will send your official letter of recertification and certificate in the mail within three weeks. 


ACMA Education Hub

ACMA is committed to providing you with year-round access to quality education -- face to face and online. The line-up of offerings is always evolving, with an emphasis on real-life applications. Our Education Hub is one way we deliver information to help elevate your composites knowledge and propel your career forward.

The ACMA Education Hub makes it easy for you to:

  • Enroll in the CCT program and take your exam online
  • Recertify your CCT credentials
  • View past webinars and enroll in upcoming live webinar events
  • Purchase important technical resources, including ANSI Codes of Standard

Visit the ACMA Education Hub and browse the full catalog of offerings today.