The following excerpts are from a recent interview with Craig McCarthy, President of Aerodine Composites.
The company is truly remarkable with trusted manufacturing, industry-leading performance designs, and more than 30 years of success. Likewise, Craig’s personal journey from a laminator in 1999 to the President of Aerodine is equally as impressive. Here are some fantastic insights about Craig and Aerodine, and what sets this company apart within the ultra-competitive advanced composites industry.
Craig, can you tell us a little about yourself as we get started?
“CM: I received bachelor’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering Technology from Purdue University, and then my MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University. Early in my career, I was an experimental aircraft fabricator and pilot and really found my calling at Aerodine where I started as a laminator, then expanded my responsibilities to lead engineering, and ultimately was asked to take on the role of President in August 2013. It’s been an incredible ride, and I am blessed to work with so many talented team members that are truly dedicated to the success of Aerodine Composites.”
How would you describe Aerodine, and what makes the company differentiated in the marketplace?
“CM: Aerodine Composites include experienced composite technicians, FAA Certified repairmen, talented R&D teams, and manufacturing experts that have spent decades refining and enhancing composite technology. We have continued to invest heavily in the industry’s top materials science and tooling, and as a result, innovation and commitment to our clients’ highest standards are what ultimately set us apart.”
When you look across the vast industries that Aerodine serves – what are some of your favorite projects?
“CM: Well that’s a tough question… there are many that we love, and all for different reasons. We’re probably best known for our influence within the world’s top motorsports organizations and races, and we are proud to say that Aerodine has contributed to every Indy 500 winning entry for over 30 years.”
Wow, that is impressive — outside of motorsports, what other industries rely heavily on Aerodine?
“CM: We remain a leader in Aviation… both in terms of partnerships with OEMs and to a multitude of Defense contractors. We made a significant decision back in 2003 to invest in an FAA Repair Station license, and by doing so, that commitment has dictated our approach to Quality Control in every phase of our business. The FAA maintains the highest standards related to training, control, inspections, surveillance, materials, and so on. So, our dedication to maintaining our FAA Certification genuinely drives a high level of excellence throughout the organization, in everything that we do.”
Are you seeing any additional industries become a larger part of Aerodine’s future?
“CM: Our Teams are very excited about the growth within the defense industry which has been increasingly more impactful year after year. We do a lot of work to further advance composite applications within EMI-shielded portable electronics enclosures, systems packaging, ducting, and light-weighting of legacy programs. Our regulatory approach, and decades of standardization rigor within motorsports and aerospace, help us to be uniquely qualified to design and manufacture cutting-edge materials, technologies, and solutions that are driving defense application innovation in every sector. This is a really compelling growth market for Aerodine in the coming years.”
So, Craig, it’s obviously been quite a journey for you and Aerodine – in closing, how would you characterize what drives you and the Team to extend your leadership in the next twenty years?
“CM: I love that question, and the answer is very clear for us… we love partnering with many of the world’s top companies and collaborating to solve their hardest problems. If it’s corrosion resistance for aerospace, lighter weights for our military, or advanced material maneuverability – we love the challenges, the high standards, and the pursuit of excellence. Serving our clients is what drives me and our entire Team, every day!”