The International Yacht Restoration School will launch a full-time composites technology program, which it says is the first of its kind in the rapidly growing composites field.
The program is targeted to meet the needs of the marine industry, but graduates will have a choice of career paths since the high strength-to-weight ratio of composite materials pioneered by boatbuilders is now in demand by many industries, including wind energy, aerospace and transportation.
According to the American Composites Manufacturers Association, in the U.S. alone the composites industry employs about 550,000 people and generates almost $70 billion in revenues per year.
"The composites technology program rounds out our offerings as a technical training institute for the marine industry. The program uses the same in-depth, intensive educational model that has earned our programs an international reputation for excellence," IYRS president Terry Nathan said in a statement.
"Technical experts agree that the marine industry's increased use of advanced composites can give birth to the type of innovative products that can reinvigorate the industry; the IYRS program is designed to attract and train the inventive practitioners who can help lead the way," Nathan added.
The composites technology program will be offered at the school's teaching facility in Bristol, R.I., beginning in September.
The nine-month program gives students a foundation in composites processes, techniques and technology ranging from general composites that employ glass fiber and polyester resin, to advanced composites that employ high-strength/high-modulus fibers and advanced resin systems.
The program places a stronger emphasis on advanced composites, which are generally greener because they produce fewer emissions in the manufacturing process.