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February 13, 2017

Engineering News-Record names Dagher a 'Top 25 Newsmaker'

File photo / James McCarthy
File photo / James McCarthy
Habib Dagher, director of UMaine's Advanced Structures and Composites Center, in front of the VolturnUS prototype wind turbine deployed off the shores of Castine in 2014.

Habib Dagher, executive director of the University of Maine's Advanced Structures and Composites Center, has been named one of 2016's Top 25 Newsmakers by Engineering News-Record.

The award will be formally presented in April in New York City. At that time, ENR also will announce which one of the Top 25 Newsmakers will receive the highest honor, the Award of Excellence.

Dagher was selected based on achievements related to the New England Aqua Ventus I offshore wind energy pilot innovations, the Bridge-in-a-Backpack technology and his work developing the UMaine Composites Center.

"This award truly belongs to the entire UMaine Composites Center students, faculty and staff, and is a tremendous global recognition for the research and development accomplishments we've achieved at UMaine," Dagher said in a release about his award.

In its profile of Dagher, ENR cites his career-spanning achievements: "Engineering professor Dagher has set a high bar for R&D to propel his adopted state to new levels of achievement in clean energy and transportation technology."

The article noted that Dagher holds 27 patents with six pending.

Under his leadership, the UMaine Composites Center has grown to a 100,000-square-foot research and development laboratory, with 180 employees and more than 500 clients and partners across the world.

Among the center's most significant R&D projects:

  • VolturnUS 1:8, the first grid-connected floating offshore wind turbine in the United States and the first in the world made out of concrete and composite materials.

  • The inflatable composite arch bridges Bridge-in-a-Backpack technology, now approved by the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials. In January, University of Maine's Bridge-in-a-Backpack spinoff company signed a North American marketing and distribution agreement with an international construction and engineering firm that intends to expand the innovative composite bridge technology eventually into international markets.

  • The first Modular Ballistic Protection System, approved by the U.S. Army to protect troops in tents from blast and ballistic threats.

  • The longest composite bridge in the world, the 540-foot Knickerbocker Bridge in Boothbay, completed in 2011 by Harbor Technologies.

  • The development of coated wood technology for blast- and hurricane-resistant wood buildings.

  • The longest carbon-fiber composite vessel built for the U.S. Navy.
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