Protecting the Lives of Tomorrow’s Soldiers Requires Rapid Technology Transfer from Other Industries to Military Applications

June 16, 2010

NEW YORK--Protecting the lives of tomorrow’s American soldiers requires rapid transfer of technologies from other industries to military applications, according to Alcoa (NYSE:AA) executive Dr. Eric (Rick) Winter.

Speaking at the 47th Sagamore Army Materials Research Conference this week in St. Michaels, Md., Winter said, “The current climate of unconventional warfare is creating unprecedented stress on military systems and material. The need to deploy forces around the world at a moment’s notice places a premium on efficient, robust systems, which in turn drives the desire for ever lighter and stronger materials to create these systems.

“To meet this challenge, the technical community must rely on a mixture of proven technologies and materials applied in new and/or unique ways, including the more extensive use of known lightweight, high-strength materials such as aluminum.”

Winter is director of the development laboratories at Alcoa Technical Center, the largest light metals research laboratory in the world. He spoke during the first day of the four-day conference, which focuses on advanced lightweight metals technology. For the past 30 years, Winter has worked in a variety of markets that have benefited from lightweighting.

“Across industries as diverse as automotive, commercial aerospace, consumer packaging and oil & gas exploration, there is a common need for lighter, more efficient systems that reduce energy consumption while delivering on the intended mission,” Winter said.

His presentation detailed a number of examples where Alcoa technologies originally invented for a specific product were later adapted for another marketplace, greatly reducing the time to market and development costs for customers.

The prestigious Sagamore Army Materials Research Conference started in 1954 and has gained wide recognition as a pioneering meeting of materials science and engineering. The primary focus is to bring together scientists and engineers from Army laboratories, industry and universities for in-depth reviews and discussion of important subjects to the Department of the Army, often leading to early applied research direction for Army programs. The conference’s name stems from the location it was first held, Sagamore Lake, NY.

About Alcoa

Alcoa is the world’s leading producer of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina. In addition to inventing the modern-day aluminum industry, Alcoa innovation has been behind major milestones in the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation, consumer electronics and industrial markets over the past 120 years. Among the solutions Alcoa markets are flat-rolled products, hard alloy extrusions, and forgings, as well as Alcoa® wheels, fastening systems, precision and investment castings, and building systems in addition to its expertise in other light metals such as titanium and nickel-based super alloys. Sustainability is an integral part of Alcoa’s operating practices and the product design and engineering it provides to customers. Alcoa has been a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for eight consecutive years and approximately 75 percent of all of the aluminum ever produced since 1888 is still in active use today. Alcoa employs approximately 59,000 people in 31 countries across the world. More information can be found at

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