Center for Composite Materials - University of Delaware
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John W. Gillespie, Jr.

Donald C. Phillips Professor
Director, Center for Composite Materials
Phone: (302) 831-8702
Fax: (302) 831-8525
201 Composites Manufacturing Science Laboratory
Newark, DE 19716

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Executive Summary
Dr. Gillespie has served the University of Delaware Center for Composite Materials (UD-CCM) in several roles since 1981, achieving the position of Director in 1996. As director, Professor Gillespie has established an intellectually stimulating and highly interdisciplinary research environment for affiliated faculty, research professionals, graduate and undergraduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and visiting scholars to collaborate among themselves as well as with the Center’s government and industrial sponsors. Dr. Gillespie has maintained a dedicated state-of-the art facility and maintains an open-lab philosophy to encourage participation in research and educational activities. Currently, more than 120 projects in composites-related fields are ongoing. Dr. Gillespie is the Principal Investigator of two Army Research Laboratory (ARL) Centers of Excellence, one in multifunctional composite materials and the other in mechanics and performance of composites. Both of these Centers were renewed in 2006-2014.  He is also co-principal investigator for a third Center of Excellence focused on advanced materials and intelligent processing funded by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) from 1997 to 2014.  In addition, Dr. Gillespie is co-principal investigator for a fourth Center of Excellence, hosted by Wichita State University.  Funded by the Federal Aviation Association, the FAA center focuses on advanced composite materials for commercial aircraft. In 2012, ARL established a Cooperative Research Alliance with Hopkins, Rutgers and CalTech and UD on Materials Under Extreme Dynamic Environments of which Dr. Gillespie is a member of the core management team and UD’s PI.

Research Interests
Composite materials, mechanics and design, experimental mechanics, fracture mechanics, fabrication, infrastructure applications of composites

Ph.D., 1985, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Delaware
M.M.A.E., 1978, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Delaware
B.M.E., 1976, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Delaware


  1. SAMPE Fellow Award in recognition of your extensive history of research support, technology advancement, individual mentoring and support of the society, June 2015.
  2. Outstanding Paper Award 2nd Place SAMPE 2015, Baltimore, MD, May 18-21, 2015 Zhang, D., D. Heider, and J. W. Gillespie, Jr., “Role of Prepreg Interlayer Permeability on Void Reduction During Oven Vacuum Bag Processing of Thick Section Thermoplastic Composites.”
  3. Elected in 2013 to the SME College of Fellows.
  4. Selected as co-recipient of the American Society for Civil Engineers 2013 Charles Pankow Award for Innovation.
  5. Elected in 2012 as Fellow of the American Society for Composites.
  6. Best Paper Award, presented at the 25th Annual Technical Conference, hosted by the University of Dayton, Dayton, OH, September 21, 2010, for paper presented at the 24th Annual Technical Conference of the American Society for Composite and the Canadian Association for Composite Structures and Materials, University of Delaware, Sept. 15-17, 2009, with B. A. Gama, T. A. Bogetti, and J. W. Gillespie, Jr., “Impact, Damage and Penetration Modeling of Thick-Section Composites using LS-Dyna MAT 162.”
  7. 2009 ASC Outstanding Research Award; Quoting the Society guidelines: A nominee for the ASC Outstanding Research Award shall have made contributions to the science and technology of composite materials by way of analytical modeling, numerical modeling, design methodologies, and/or experimental work that have led to a greater understanding of the behavior of composite materials.
  8. Distinguished Career Alumni Award, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Delaware, May 1, 2009.
  9. 2008, Most Cited Author 2004 – 2008 Award, International Journal of Solids and Structures.
  10. Best Paper Award 1st Place SAMPE 2005 Symposium & Exhibition (50th ISSE), Long Beach, CA, May 1-5, 2005. with B. A. Gama, S. M. W. Islam, M. Rahman, T. A. Bogetti, B. A. Cheeseman, C-F. Yen, and C. P. R. Hoppel, “Punch Shear Behavior of Thick-Section Composites under Quasi-Static, Low Velocity, and Ballistic Impact Loading.”


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