R. Byron Pipes

R. Byron Pipes

John L. Bray Distinguished Professor of Engineering

Contact Information

Office: 1105 Challenger Avenue, West Lafayette, IN
Phone: +1 765 49-45767

School of Materials Engineering
Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering
701 West Stadium Avenue
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2045

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     Dr. R. Byron Pipes was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1987 in recognition of his development of an exemplary model for relationships between corporate, academic and government sectors to foster research and education in the field of composite materials.  As co-founder and director of the Center for Composite Materials at the University of Delaware, he developed an industrial consortium of over forty corporate sponsors from the USA, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, United Kingdom, Belgium, Sweden and Finland.  Today, almost 40 years after its founding, the University of Delaware Center is the largest and most successful of its kind in the United States. Research expenditures have exceeded $100 million.

     Dr. Pipes developed the Composites Design and Manufacturing HUB (cdmHUB) to meet the simulation needs of the growing composites industry in 2013. To date, the cdmHUB is supported by five corporate sponsors (Boeing, Rolls Royce, Cytec, Dassault Systemes and Henkel) and DARPA. His most recent research programs focus on the development of composites manufacturing with emphasis on additive manufacturing. He currently leads the Indiana Center of Excellence of the DOE Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), chairs the Technology Advisory Board and serves on the Board of Directors of IACMI. His center will occupy the Indiana Manufacturing Institute in the Purdue Research Park in 2016. He has active programs in the study of the advanced manufacturing science for composite materials.


  • Executive Director of the Composites Manufacturing Simulation Center of Purdue University, 2015 - present.
  • Director of the Design and Simulation Technology Area of the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing, 2015 - present.
  • Director of the Composites Design and Manufacturing HUB, 2012 - present
  • John Bray Distinguished Professor of Engineering in the Schools of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Chemical Engineering and Materials Engineering at Purdue University, 2004 - present.
  • Goodyear Professor of Polymer Engineering, University of Akron, 2001 - 04
  • Distinguished Visiting Professor, College of William and Mary, 1999 - 2001.
  • President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1993 - 95.
  • Provost of the University of Delaware, 1991 - 1993.
  • Dean of the College of Engineering, University of Delaware, 1985 - 91.
  • Robert L. Spencer Professor of Engineering, University of Delaware, 1986 - 93.
  • Director of the Center for Composite Materials, University of Delaware, 1977 - 85.


  • Princeton University, MSE Structural Mechanics, 1969
  • University of Texas at Arlington, PhD Mechanical Engineering, 1972

Research Interests

Dr. Pipes' graduate students work in composites manufacturing simulation focuses on the influence of manufacturing processes on the development of composites microstructure and the resulting implications upon structural performance. Two primary manufacturing processes are the subject of the majority of the scholarship underway and these include composites additive manufacturing (cAM) through fused filament fabrication and discontinuous prepreg platelet composites. For cAM, the research is directed at the prediction of the free-surface flow of fiber-reinforced polymer extrudates and the multi-physics phenomena that determine extrudate-substrate adhesion, shrinkage deformation, mechanical and transport properties and performance of the printed geometry. The discontinuous prepreg platelet studies examine the rheology of these highly anisotropic systems to determine fiber orientation distribution within a molded geometry, micro-CAT scan methods for determination of fiber orientation and prediction of the strength properties of structural elements molded from these materials systems.

  • Composites Design and Simulation
  • Composites Manufacturing Simulation
  • Experimental Characterization
  • Multiscale Modeling
  • Structural Mechanics
  • Rheology of suspensions
  • Multiphysics Modeling