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Press Release

Leaders in Composites Manufacturing Recognized at SME’s AeroDef 2019

Douglas Decker, MTorres and Northrop Grumman receive industry awards for their longtime contributions

(LONG BEACH, Calif., May 2, 2019) ― SME, an association supporting the manufacturing industry, along with its Composites Manufacturing Tech Group, recognized an industry leader and two prominent composites manufacturing companies with the 2019 Composites Manufacturing Awards.

Composites combine different materials that work together to form, stronger, lighter or more durable new materials. Composites remain an important component of advanced aerospace manufacturing and have been applied to the automotive industry, appliances and consumer goods of every type.

2019 J.H. “Jud” Hall Composites Manufacturing Award

First awarded in 1986, the J.H. “Jud” Hall Composites Manufacturing Award celebrates individuals for innovation and achievement.

Douglas D. Decker, technical fellow, Northrop Grumman Corp., is the recipient of the 2019 J.H. “Jud” Hall Award. He was recognized for his distinguished career in aerospace spanning over 35 years. Decker currently leads the Northrop Grumman Enterprise composites team that is developing and demonstrating a significant and novel approach to the design, fabrication and assembly of composite aircraft structures that has the potential of reducing nonrecurring tooling costs by up to 80%.

"Collaboration between our government, industry and research institutions will increase our global manufacturing competitiveness in the rapidly growing use of advanced composites,” said Decker. “We must remain committed to strengthening industry integration, while focusing on developing lower-cost, higher-speed and more-efficient manufacturing processes for advanced composite materials."

Decker’s work has been used in the fabrication of Northrop Grumman proprietary aircraft programs and will be soon be paying significant cost, schedule and performance benefits in future Department of Defense programs. He works closely with the academic community in advanced composite materials and process improvements and is currently serving as an industry intermediary between the University of Southern California, California State University Long Beach and Cerritos Community College in obtaining training resources and support from composite material suppliers.

2019 Composites award.JPG

2019 Excellence in Composites Manufacturing Award (Small and Large Company)

MTorres was recognized with the 2019 Excellence in Composites Manufacturing Award (Small Company) for its distinction in the field of advanced composites manufacturing. For over two decades, the company has been a preferred supplier of composite manufacturing tooling, automation and equipment to the world’s leading commercial and military aircraft and wind-turbine-blade manufacturers. MTorres’ composites manufacturing and assembly technologies are used globally to produce over 20 commercial aircrafts, eight military aircrafts and seven helicopters, including a system used in the production of the composites-horizontal-stabilizer components for the 787-9 Dreamliner.

Northrop Grumman was recognized with the 2019 Excellence in Composites Manufacturing Award (Large Company) for its distinction in the field of advanced composites manufacturing. Northrop’s  advanced manufacturing composites aerospace and space composites portfolio has been expanded to include the latest breakout technologies that are changing the very basis of composites manufacturing to include large- structure, adhesive-bonded, out-of-autoclave aerostructures.

Honorees received their awards during SME’s AeroDef Manufacturing event, April 29 in Long Beach, California.

About AeroDef Manufacturing

AeroDef Manufacturing is a leading technical conference and exposition for the aerospace and defense manufacturing industry. Produced by SME, in partnership with industry OEMs, its mission is to foster innovation across the extended enterprise to reduce costs, expedite production times and maintain U.S. competitiveness in the global economy. Learn more at

About SME

SME connects manufacturing professionals, academia and communities, sharing knowledge and resources to build inspired, educated and prosperous manufacturers and enterprises. With more than 85 years of experience and expertise in events, media, membership, training and development, and also through an education foundation, SME is committed to promoting manufacturing technology, developing a skilled workforce and attracting future generations to advance manufacturing. Learn more at, follow @SME_MFG on Twitter or  


Ashley Areeda
Senior PR Representative, SME