The following Keynote Speakers have been carefully selected for their insights on the challenges our industry faces and for their thoughts on how to move forward. Keynote Presentations will take place on the Composites Manufacturing show floor at The Deck from 8am-9am daily and are free to all registered attendees.

Tuesday, March 19

Jens Gralfs
Vice President, Assembly & Installation
Airbus Operations, GmbH

Jens Gralfs has served as head of manufacturing engineering assembly & installation since 2008. Based in Hamburg, Germany, he leads the transnational manufacturing engineering team for all assembly/installation activities at Airbus, covering all ten assembly plants in Europe. As Vice President, he is responsible for full development chain of methods and processes, jigs and tools and automated systems – from first idea to mature production start and finally ramp up. His team determines the future research and technology needs for assembly and installation to ensure a short, mid and long-term development, especially for the A 350 development and program needs. Jens began his professional career in 1992 at Airbus as project leader for automation systems. He became research and development manager for the Airbus Stade plant where he was in charge of coordinating all R&D activities (mainly carbon fiber composite techniques). In 2001, he became head of new technologies/new programs. In this role he was responsible for guaranteeing the technological innovation of the composites products manufactured and their suitability in terms of technical solutions. Furthermore he defined the strategy for new product manufacturing and assembly processes, tooling concepts and technological solutions being applied in the development and production of A380/ A400M/ A350.


Wednesday, March 20

Adele Ratcliff
Director, Defense Manufacturing Technology (ManTech) Program
U.S. Department of Defense

Adele Ratcliff is the director of the U.S. Department of Defense Manufacturing Technology (ManTech) program. While at DOD, Adele has focused on building strong interagency partnerships to address broad transition of manufacturing issues such as manufacturing readiness and the advanced manufacturing enterprise. She has a long career in acquisitions, including program manager for the Congressionally-mandated Defense Acquisition Challenge Program; deputy program manager for the Foreign Comparative Test Program; and more than 11 years in Air Force Test and Evaluation at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. As Test Manager, Adele guided the Air Force’s Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser test program (better known as WCMD), from prototype through the production and deployment phase of the platform, earning her the Air Force Civilian Test Engineer of the Year award. Her work transitioned the platform to support the warfighter in the initial phases of Operation Enduring Freedom.


Thursday, March 21

Don A. Kinard
Senior Technical Fellow
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics


Keynote Sponsor:   

Don Kinard is a Senior Technical Fellow for Lockheed Martin and Deputy for the F-35 Fighter Production System. The Fighter Production System was established to manage production transition from a current 1 aircraft per month production rate to a 20 aircraft per month production rate by 2017.

Dr. Kinard has been with Lockheed Martin for 28 years and prior to his current assignment he was Director of F-35 Production Engineering responsible for Joint Strike Fighter Tooling, Planning, Manufacturing Engineering, and Aircraft Systems Testing. Before joining F-35 in 2004, Dr. Kinard held various positions in both Engineering and Manufacturing during his 18 years on the F-22 Program including Composite Risk Reduction Lead, Covers and Mate IPT Lead, Engineering Lead for F-22 Production Support, and Deputy Director of F-22 Production.

Dr. Kinard earned a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX and a PhD in Physical (Polymer) Chemistry from Texas A&M University.