Born in Belgium in 1949, Andre Cocquyt started out with a career in computers after his studies at the University of Ghent and he service in the Belgian Military as an officer in the Armored Infantry. He discovered composites via his ocean sailboat racing hobby and eventually he became full time involved in the composites trade when he created AMTEC in 1982, a composites R&D and manufacturing company. Besides serial production of North Sea fishing boats and parts for railcars and trucks, AMTEC’s high tech division built one-off racing boats such as the 85′ SY Cote d’Or for the Whitbread-round-the-world-race, the 73′ SY Desperado for the SORC and several multi-hulls for the offshore racing circuits. AMTEC’s R&D division developed a wide range of novel products, from ballistic composites for FN, to a demountable indoor 200 meter racing rack, to the speed-record setting carbon bicycle wheel for Eddy Merckx.
Andre sold AMTEC and moved to the USA in 1990 where he is active in the composites trade as a technical adviser and trainer. He has an R&D lab where he tests new materials, troubleshoots process issues and develops new technology, such as new processes for Vacuum Infusion.
His clients include most well known yacht builders such as Delta Marine, Tiara, Hodgdon, Hinckley, Morris, SeaRay, MasterCraft, Maverick, Contender, Pursuit, Regal, Willard, Contender, Intrepid, Cruisers, McMullen & Wing, Cheoy Lee, Lien Hwa and many others.
Andre has become best known for his crusade to convert the composites industry to closed molding, through hands-on training classes and a series of over 50 seminars across the US. He also produced several in-depth technical DVD’s under the ‘GRPGuru’ moniker.
Recently, he wrote the CCT-VIP (Certified Composites Technician – Vacuum Infusion Process) curriculum and certification for ACMA (American Composites Manufacturing Association) and was contracted for the start-up of the MATC (Marine Advanced Technology Center), a USDOL (United States Department of Labor) sponsored composites training center. Currently, he is developing a curriculum for wind blade manufacturing and repair. His continued commitment to technical education is reflected throughout his career: he has been teaching at 7 different universities and institutes of higher learning since 1986.
His work for the composites industry has been recognized with several awards, most recently the Composites 2009 “ACE AWARD” for the development of a new Temperature Controlled Mold System that uses nano chemistry in combination with temperature control to optimize flow time and cure in heavy laminates.
He is a frequent speaker at ACMA, IBEX and SAMPE composites industry conventions, and writes articles for several trade magazines such as Composites Technology and Professional Boat Builder.
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