Sponsors Student Membership Newsletter Programs and Events Home Page Contact Us
Monthly Meeting Notification

SAMPE Orange County Meeting Notice

Wed., Feb 20th, 2013 at 6 p.m.

Composite Materials - A Four Decade Perspective
Steve Slaughter - Scaled Composites


Steve will talk about the early days in which the ONLY FAA Certified composite aircraft in the United States were sailplanes. He will speak to early composite aircraft repair materials and methods and how this led to early work on “Drones” in the 1970s (now referred to as UAVs). A continuum of technologies from basic repairs, early UAVs and NASA experiments will be shown to carry forward into today’s far more exotic and demanding applications to include hypersonics, Direct Manufacturing and even Star Trek (the Movie). There were MANY personalities along the way who will be discussed from Von Dutch to Bobby Unser to Brandt Goldsworth to Burt Rutan.


Steve Slaughter has been involved in the field of Advanced Composites since high school in the late 1960s without (at that time) even being aware that there WAS such a thing. Starting in composite sailplane repair part time for the Country’s first FAA composite repair station, he continues work on early technically challenging composite projects for NASA and others into the 1980s. A diverse background in different, odd, novel materials projects led him to get to know a WILDLY diverse group of people and personalities from areas directly connected to the materials industry. From bucket-and-brush to Mach 20 to the largest airplane ever manufactured to underwater composite fabrication and repair to submarine concept design and development, the materials industry continues to fascinate him and those around him. “What a long, strange trip it’s been!”

Steve Slaughter born in 1953 to a family headed by a father with a PhD in ceramics (Fused Oxide Refractories to be exact) and a school teacher mother who used ceramic missile nose tips as flower planters around the house. Junior High School and High School saw him develop a strong interest and enrollment in wood shop, metal shop, ceramics taking classes since the 7th grade. Weekends in High School as a gliderport “Line Boy” and part time work for Fred Jiran Glider Repairs. After graduating High School, work in glider repairs and NASA contracts while going to school part time studying Psychology.

Changing majors to Engineering in the mid-1980s, continuing full time work in Composite materials for a wide variety of companies, Don Edmunds Autoresearch, Goldsworthy Engineering (twice), Scaled Composites (three times now) while picking up classes with specific skills useful on the job: Calculus, advanced math, physics, materials science, chemistry and never quite “finding the time” to finish upper division studies. From Gliders, early “Drones” for NASA and contractors to Indianapolis 500 cars to corrosion control systems to hypersonics to the world’s largest aircraft, he recently left Skunk Works to return to Scaled Composites at their invitation.


  • The Jagerhaus in Anaheim, 2525 East Ball Road, just west of the 57 Freeway, on the North side of Ball.
    Turn right at the first driveway. Phone 714-520-9500. GoogleMap Link


    6:00 pm Social7:00 pm Dinner • 8:00 pm Speaker — Member or guest dinner $20.
    Student (with student ID) dinner $10. No cost for Program only.

    Reservations:: E-mail Darrell Reed, Darrell.Reed@Exova.com ,
    call 714-630-3003, x 211
    or Fill out our Online Form

  • To receive our Meeting Notification, please click the Newsletter Link!

    View Prior Meeting Notices
    Jan 2013 | Sept 2012 | Aug 2012 | June 2012 | April 2012 | Mar 2012 | Nov 2011 | Sept 2011 | June 2011 | April 2011 | March 2011
    Feb 2011 | Jan 2011 | Nov 2010 | Sept 2010 | Aug 2010 | July 2010 | April 2010 | March 2010 | Feb 2010 | Jan 2010 | Nov 2009
    Oct 2009 | Sept 2009 | July 2009 | June 2009 | May 2009 |April 2009 | Feb 2009 | Jan 2009 | Nov 2008 | Oct 2008 | Sept 2008
    August 2008 | June 2008 | April 2008 | March 2008 | Feb. 2008 | Jan. 2008 | Oct 2007 | Sept 2007 | Aug 2007 | May 2007 |
    April 2007
    | March 2007 | Feb 2007 | Jan 2007 | Nov 2006 | Oct 2006 | Sept 2006 | Aug 2006
    July 2006 | June 2006 | April 2006 | March 2006

    Website Copyright 2007-2012 by the Orange County Chapter of SAMPE