Air Force Seeks Innovators in Non-Destructive Testing at World of Concrete 2019

A new U.S. Air Force innovation challenge—this one, on non-destructive testing on steel-lined structures—will be announced in a Jan. 22, 2019 briefing at World of Concrete 2019. Photo of 2018 event by World of Concrete/Informa Exhibitions.

A new U.S. Air Force innovation challenge—this one, on non-destructive testing on steel-lined structures—will be announced in a Jan. 22, 2019 briefing at World of Concrete 2019. Photo of 2018 event by World of Concrete/Informa Exhibitions.

The U.S. Air Force is seeking private-sector insights and innovations in order to enhance its capabilities in testing specific types of structural concrete, by launching a new AFWERX Challenge at the 44th Annual World of Concrete trade show, Las Vegas, Jan. 22-25, 2019.

At a special Jan. 22 industry event and briefing sponsored by the AFWERX Vegas Innovation Hub, show attendees will learn from experts first-hand about the challenges the Air Force faces in developing and refining non-destructive evaluation methods for steel-lined concrete structures. In a candid and informal setting, they’ll also gain insights about how to successfully apply to large-market contract opportunities in support of U.S. defense capabilities.

"You might say we're trying to bring together the can-do culture of the Air Force, with the cutting-edge innovations and proven products that are always on display at World of Concrete," says Daryl Gibson, Senior Innovation Integrator at AFWERX Vegas.

The AFWERX Vegas Innovation Hub was started in 2017 and is funded by the Air Force to support outreach to business and academic communities. The location is one of three such AFWERX centers—the others are in Austin, Texas and the District of Columbia. Each is focused on delivering design solutions to Air Force problems faster, more effectively, and more efficiently than in the past.

Formal announcement of a new AFWERX Challenge online portal related to non-destructive evaluation of steel-lined concrete structures will occur on the first day of this year’s World of Concrete trade show, Jan. 22 to 25, Las Vegas Convention Center. The event boasts more than 1,500 exhibiting companies, and 58,000 registered industry professionals in more than 745,000 net square feet of exhibit space.

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"We're very pleased that partners such as the U.S. Air Force and AFWERX recognize the idea-generating energy of World of Concrete attendees and exhibitors," says Jackie James, Group Director for World of Concrete. The World of Concrete event is owned and managed by Informa Exhibitions, a division of Informa PLC.

Scheduled events at the AFWERX World of Concrete hospitality suite Jan. 22, 2019, are:

  • Morning announcement, 9:30 to 10 a.m.

  • Panel discussion on partnering with the U.S. Air Force, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

  • Afternoon announcement, 2 to 2:30 p.m.

The AFWERX announcement and panel events are open to all World of Concrete attendees. Registration at the AFWERX Challenge website is requested, but not required. Walk-ins throughout the day of January 22 are also welcome. The suite is located at S220, Level 2, bridge between Central Hall and South Hall. The suite is available 8.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. AFWERX personnel may also be available later in the week, for follow-on conversations.

"Even if they're unable to attend the briefing, practitioners and potential partners are encouraged to register at the AFWERX Challenge website," says AFWERX's Gibson. "That way, they can keep informed on future project announcements, and submit and discuss their products and ideas in related challenges." The information page can be found at: www.afwerxchallenge.com/concretescan

As envisioned by U.S. Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson in 2017, AFWERX is intended to solve some of the toughest challenges that the Air Force faces, through innovation and collaboration amongst our nation’s top subject-matter experts. The world is changing quickly—new technologies, new threats, and new opportunities.

Randy BrownEvent, Challenge, Concrete