Spotlight: The One-Man Economic Development Machine

Recently, Portland Press Herald published an article profiling Dr. Habib Dagher, the Director of the AEWC Advanced Structures and Composites Center. The article can be found here.

Events often unfold at a frenetic pace at AEWC Advanced Structures and Composites Center. The reserved parking places in the front of the building are marked with neon orange cones and signs announcing the latest business leader or policy maker to visit the center. Between press conferences, lab tours, and teleconferences, there is never a “dull day at the office.”

One person responsible for driving this pace is Dr. Habib Dagher, director of AEWC Advanced Structures and Composites Center and University of Maine professor. He works with tireless determination to achieve one goal: transforming Maine’s economy through development of deepwater offshore wind technology. This mission received $7.1 million from the Department of Energy in October 2009, and recently received an additional $12.4 million from the National Institutes for Standards and Technology to establish the first-ever deepwater Offshore Wind Laboratory as an expansion to the current AEWC building. Combining two of the state’s key resources, wind and wood (an ingredient in cellulose-based fibers used in composites), with the technical expertise at the award-winning lab, Dr. Dagher and AEWC are working with industry leaders who understand the importance and urgency of this project. It is clear why Susan Collins refers to Dr. Dagher as “a one man economic development machine.”