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1990’s A pilot study assessing the potential for engineered wood leads UMaine to focus on engineered wood research and to raise funds for the construction of an Advanced Engineered Wood Composites Center. In partnership with FWHA, USDA and Maine DOT, UMaine researchers design and build 14 bridges and piers to demonstrate the potential of engineered wood.

2000 The Advanced Structures and Composites Center opens its doors on June 1, 2000. The Center designed pier in Milbridge, Maine dedicated; pier, the longest glulam pier in the world, constructed of innovative engineered wood panels. In July, the 1st International Conference on Advanced Engineered Wood Composites is held.

2001 The Center completes initial phase of equipping laboratories; is awarded over $4 million in research funding; does R & D for 30 companies; welcomed over 1000 visitors to its facilities. Repair of marine wood piles with fiber reinforced polymers brings new solution The Center opens its doors on June 1,

2002 The Center focuses on Maine’s economic development with assistance from a National Science Foundation Partners for Innovation award ($600,000) which targets increases in productivity and entrepreneurship; research funding of $4 million as well as product testing and development for 43 companies.

2003 Established the Graduate Certificate Program in Advanced Engineered Wood Composites; gained accreditation as an ISO 17025 R & D laboratory; awarded 4 patents; received Maine Technology Institute Cluster Enhancement Award to stimulate and invigorate Maine’s composite manufacturing sector; hosted National Science Foundation Research for Undergraduates students.

2004 Groundbreaking for construction of OSB/OSL Pilot Plant and Resin Infusion Lab funded by Maine Jobs Bond; established exchange with Chilean universities; featured on Maine PBS series, Quest; 6 start-up companies founded using the Center's technologies.

2005 Awarded $6.2 million multi-year contract with U.S. Army to develop highstrength structures for military applications; opened 15,000 sq. ft. of new facilities; with assistance from Maine Technology Institute, major expansion of wood plastic extrusion capacities; formed partnership with Hodgdon Yachts to build a prototype special operations craft for the U.S. Navy.

2006 Development of troop protection system for U.S. Army tents; awarded workforce development funds to act as R&D hub for Maine’s boatbuilding industry; continued development of Mark V.1 craft for U.S. Navy; staff grows to 40.

2007 Modular Ballistic Protection System, developed at the Center, is sent to Southwest Asia for field testing; increased outreach and technical assistance to Maine boatbuilders; the Center expansion certified “green”; spin-off companies Maine Secure Composites and Maine Marine Manufacturing enjoy solid growth.

2008 MAKO prototype launched; the MBPS ballistic panel system wins the composites industry's two top awards for innovation and excellence; 4th International Conference on Advanced Engineered Wood & Hybrid Composites held; offshore wind energy is major new initiative. 

2009 First Bridge-in-a-Backpack™, the Neal Bridge in Pittsfield, Maine, constructed; named a Champion for Economic Development by the Maine Development Foundation; blast resistant wood structures being developed at the Center named the year's Most Creative Composites Product by the American Composites Manufacturers Association; the development of a deepwater offshore wind farm in the Gulf of Maine continues to gain momentum with the formation of the DeepCwind Consortium funded by the Department of Energy.

2010 Construction of the Offshore Wind Laboratory commences; two cabinet secretaries visit the Center-Sec of Transportation Ray LaHood and Sec of Energy Steven Chu; continuing research and development of the modular ballistic protection system and blast resistant wood structures for US troop protection; continued development of composite bridge technologies; increasing R&D and public education and advocacy for the development of a deepwater offshore wind farm in the Gulf of Maine.

2011 Increasing deepwater offshore wind research including scale-model turbine testing; construction of the Offshore Wind Laboratory completed; awarded the prestigious Charles Pankow Award for Innovation from the American Society of Civil Engineers for development of the Bridge-in-a-Backpack™ technology; continuing support for commercialization of composite bridge technologies including the opening of the Knickerbocker Bridge in Boothbay, ME – the world’s longest composite bridge.

2012 Provided testing services for use of black locust wood in Brooklyn Bridge Park Project; provided tours to over 2000 guests during FY2012; received patent for innovative use of composite materials in fencing and decking material; continued development of floating foundation for offshore wind turbines and prepared to deploy prototype in 2013; hosted second annual Windstorm Challenge with over 250 participants (more information at WindstormChallenge.com).

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