WVU’s GangaRao Testifies before House Committee on Use of Composites in Infrastructure

April 23 2018

In his testimony delivered to the U.S. House of Representative’s Committee on Science, Space and Technology, Hota GangaRao, the Maurice and Jo Ann Wadsworth Distinguished Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at West Virginia University, discussed the importance of investing in advanced materials to continue to lead the world in composite research, development and implementation.

In his report, GangaRao, who directs the Constructed Facilities Center and the National Science Foundation-funded Center for the Integration of Composites into Infrastructure at WVU, discussed the benefits of using fiber-reinforced polymer composites in structural projects.

“Providing incentives to extend composites into new infrastructure applications will push innovation,” GangaRao said. “To protect our lead in composites from a safety viewpoint, the U.S. should monitor imports and ensure subpar composite products are not being brought here at below market rates. Standards and codes should reflect the high-quality composites being produced here.”

GangaRao added that composites can be used to renovate existing infrastructure, resulting in investment savings. Testifying in 2017 to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, GangaRao said, “With advances in smart manufacturing, code development and education, composite usage will expand into more infrastructure projects, growing exponentially and resulting in tremendous economic growth.”

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