Meet STRUCTeam

Find out how we see the world around us and how we want to make it a better one.

Vision

In five years time, STL will be the leading global enabler of composites applications through delivering expert guidance to customers, so they can make the appropriate choices for their business.

Mission

STL provides management and technology consultancy services within the composites application markets believing that independence, creativity and honesty leads to unique products and gives freedom of choice for the client.

Our story

STRUCTeam addresses a market need for independent technology and business advice across the composites supply chain, enabling its clients to make the right choices for their business. The company helps leading global engineering, construction and technology brands to meet their composites challenges, and has completed over 100 successful projects since it was founded in 2010.

Recognising the challenges facing composites users

For many organisations, choosing a composites material solution for their application without the right knowledge resulted in performance and cost issues. Developing a business case that applied traditional materials thinking to a composites materials solution inevitably led to cost overruns, and an application that failed to meet its performance criteria.

That was why - recognising the need for expert and independent advice across the composites supply chain - Julien Sellier, Radek Michalik and Rolf Dothagen founded STRUCTeam.

A visionary team

Previously, Julien and Radek had been colleagues for seven years, working closely together at a leading global composites materials manufacturer. Julien’s project management and sales skills alongside Radek’s deep technical knowledge and attention to detail proved to be highly complementary from the outset. And their bond is their strategic thinking and a shared vision of the future of the composites industry.

Both have extensive contact networks within the composites industry, and that’s what led them to the third member of the founding team, Rolf. An entrepreneur with a strong track record of successful start-ups and 25 years worth of experience and contacts in the materials sector, Rolf’s role is strategic, providing oversight and business building advice.

When they founded STRUCTeam in 2010, the team reviewed the market for a suitable IT solution but found nothing that exactly met their needs. The few software packages that were called composites solutions had not been developed by engineers with practical design knowledge and experience. Together, Julien and Radek developed a specification of what the ideal composites design software should look like and set out to create it using STRUCTeam’s internal resources, this was the beginning of CompoSIDE.

According to Julien and Radek’s vision, CompoSIDE was designed to challenge the assumptions of the engineering software market and deliver an innovative, agile and modern solution. The key drivers were innovation, creativity, efficiency, quality and collaboration. CompoSIDE was developed as a cloud based solution delivered via a web browser. CompoSIDE modules include creating laminate composites structures, designing beams and even specific components that includ yacht scantlings and fatigue analysis tools. The software was also extensively and successfully tested by STRUCTeam’s engineers on over 100 client projects.

New values for the composites supply chain

The needs of STRUCTeam’s first three clients validated exactly why the business was started.

The first of these was a boatyard producing luxury sailing and motor yachts, which had worked with composites in the past. Now it was looking to innovate with unusual materials - including glass, carbon and bamboo fibres, oak and red cedar - to retain the classic wood look of its yachts at the same time as improving their performance. The client chose STRUCTeam because it was able to provide the versatility and experience of the entire product lifecycle. With the team’s expertise, the resulting yachts achieved the performance enhancement targets, and still looked classy.

When STRUCTeam was launched, Asia was identified as having massive potential for wind energy. Through the founders’ contacts in the sector and following a distinctive proposal that demonstrated the team’s unique capabilities, a contract was quickly won. The project was to design a 50m turbine blade for a 2MW wind turbine required by a Chinese OEM. The bid beat tough competition because STRUCTeam offered the client the opportunity to be an integral part of the design process, which in turn allowed more knowledge transfer of the design process to take place. The deliverables included aerodynamic design, load calculations, structural design, tooling, prototyping, testing, certification and project management. The client benefitted from STRUCTeam’s transparent approach to developing composites solutions as its own design team was able to follow all of the design process steps during development. The result was a bespoke solution that met the Chinese OEM’s initial requirements, and the OEM’s design team gained valuable new skills.

Simultaneously, a leading carbon fibre manufacturer needed help with business development, managing its supply chain and developing new market sectors. STRUCTeam delivered a consultancy-based solution that involved knowledge transfer of the team’s practical field experience of the supply chain that broadened the manufacturer’s thinking about where it could add value, which it proceeded to do.

From a standing start with no clients, within the first six months STRUCTeam had acquired ten, all at different places in the composites supply chain. These included architects and designers, manufacturers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and most remain clients today. This broad client and project base, which has grown to reach over 100, has enabled the company to grow a stable and diversified business, and to remain insulated against major market shifts.

The business today, and in the future

Launched from the outset as a global business, STRUCTeam is based on the Isle of Wight, in the south of the UK, with a growing presence in France, Poland and China. With its UK base, expanding global network and founders from France (Julien), Poland (Radek) and Germany (Rolf), STRUCTeam has a truly international perspective.

The deep expertise with composites materials such as carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP) and glass fibre reinforced plastics (GFRP) has kept STRUCTeam at the leading edge of composites technologies. Driven by innovation and demonstrating the business case for composites, the team has the capabilities and skills at every step of the supply chain to help its clients to deliver their composites strategy.

STRUCTeam works in partnership with its clients, challenging assumptions, and believes that offering choices, knowledge and technology transfer underpin the process of developing the optimal composites solution.

Team

Julien Sellier, Managing Director

Julien Sellier

Managing Director

strategist, leader, designer, marine, wind energy, renewables, composites materials, carbon fibre, tidal, marine, America’s cup, corporate advisory

Rolf Dothagen, Non-executive Director

Rolf Dothagen

Non-executive Director

strategist, mentor, innovator, entrepreneur, composites, carbon fibre

Gerry Northwood OBE, Interim Chief Operating Officer

Gerry Northwood OBE

Interim Chief Operating Officer

strategic planning, operations management, leadership, marine

Frederic Louarn, Principal Engineer

Frederic Louarn

Principal Engineer

engineer, innovator, high performance, wind energy, wave energy, composites materials, America’s cup

Rakesh Raj, Principal Material Scientist

Rakesh Raj

Principal Material Scientist

composites materials, process, technology, nanotechnology, production, adhesives, coatings, infusion, pultrusion

Martin Calmon, Senior Engineer

Martin Calmon

Senior Engineer

researcher, innovator, lecturer, engineer, hydrodynamics, marine, structural dynamics, composites design, mechanical systems

Tomasz Gackoski, Composites Design Engineer

Tomasz Gackoski

Composites Design Engineer

engineer, designer, CAD modelling, renewables, FE simulations expert, project management, composites, yacht design, motorcycles

Rafael Gonzalez, Composites Design Engineer

Rafael Gonzalez

Composites Design Engineer

designer, engineer, support, optimisation, composites materials

Sam Ashton, Composites Design Engineer

Sam Ashton

Composites Design Engineer

designer, engineer, support, optimisation, composites materials

Mehrdad Bor, Composites Design Engineer

Mehrdad Bor

Composites Design Engineer

engineer, designer, CAD modelling, renewables, FE simulations expert, project management, composites

Jorge Lorenzo, Composites Design Engineer

Jorge Lorenzo

Composites Design Engineer

designer, engineer, marine engineering, wind, composites materials, high performance sports craft

Stanislaw Gepner, Research & Development Engineer

Stanislaw Gepner

Research & Development Engineer

engineer, R&D, parallel computing, CFD methods

Greg Lipoczi, Key account manager

Greg Lipoczi

Key account manager

sales manager, key account manager, marketing

David Van Dyke, Commercial Consultant

David Van Dyke

Commercial Consultant

commercial consultant, composites materials, managment, investments

Jo Chipperfield, Office Manager

Jo Chipperfield

Office Manager

office management, coordinator, administrator, composites materials, supply chain

Carrie Guile, Commercial Development Executive

Carrie Guile

Commercial Development Executive

commercial development, sales, sales coordination, coordinator, organiser