Marcelle-Gauvreau Engineering Research Chairs program

Making composite materials more environmentally friendly

Wednesday, February 3, 2021
Martine Dubé.
Martine Dubé.

In December, the ÉTS launched its Marcelle-Gauvreau Engineering Research Chairs program. Five ÉTS faculty members each hold a chair. Today, we present one of the chairs, Professor Martine Dubé.  

Today composites make up 50% of the structure of modern commercial aircraft, in addition to being used for transportation and energy production. Although these materials make it possible to reduce the weight of aircraft structures and, as a result, their fuel consumption, their increasing use is creating environmental problems as large volumes of composite materials end up in landfills at the end of their life cycle.  

This problem is not only found in the aerospace industry, which uses carbon fiber composites to design aircraft structures, but also in wind energy production, where the blades of wind turbines are made of fiberglass.  

To address these issues, Professor Martine Dubé of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, who now holds the Marcelle-Gauvreau Engineering Research Chair in environmentally friendly composite materials, intends on developing manufacturing, assembly and repair processes for thermoplastic composites in order to extend the life of aircraft structures. She also aims to design processes that will recover composite production waste and recycle composite materials from end-of-life structures. By finding new outlets for thermoplastic materials, which are more easily recyclable, and by proposing solutions for recovering waste materials and recycling, Professor Dubé wants to help reduce the environmental footprint of composites. 

About Professor Dubé 

Martine Dubé, professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and chairholder of the Marcelle-Gauvreau Engineering Research Chair on environmentally friendly composite materials, specializes in the development of forming and assembly processes for composite materials. Her work focuses on both natural fiber composites that can replace wood from protected trees in the manufacture of musical instruments and on the development of innovative manufacturing processes for aircraft components.

As a member of the executive committee of the International Committee on Composite Materials (ICCM), she participates in the organization of ICCM conferences held every two years, in the integration of new member nations into ICCM, and in the development of policies on equity, diversity and inclusion in this international organization of composite stakeholders. 

Martine Dubé is also co-director of the FRQNT CREPEC strategic group, which brings together approximately 70 researchers working in the field of composites in Quebec. She is associate editor of the Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and she participates in the evaluation of grant applications, notably as a member of the NSERC Discovery Grant evaluation committee.

About the Marcelle-Gauvreau Engineering Research Chairs Program 

The Marcelle-Gauvreau Engineering Research Chairs program, which was launched by the École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) this past December, is designed to highlight the remarkable career paths of professors who, in addition to demonstrating research excellence, have had to show determination and resilience in the face of adversity. Five of the ten chairs were awarded to internal professors. Five more chairs will be awarded to external faculty and professors in the spring of 2021.

Chantal Crevier

Communications Service

514-396-8800,  ext. 7893

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