The Composites Handbook is a volunteer organization consisting of participants from industry, government, and academia. The activity is organized into Coordination Groups that focus on each of the major material technologies; Polymer Matrix Composites, Ceramic Matrix Composites, and Metal Matrix Composites. An organization chart for one of the coordination groups is shown below. There is also an executive body and Handbook Chairman to oversee the entire activity and coordinate resources and goals for all of the groups.

Composite Materials Handbook Organization

PMC Coordination Group shown expanded. MMC and CMC Coordination Groups closely mirror the PMC organization


  • The Handbook Chairmen are the leaders of the entire Handbook activity, including all of the individual Coordination Groups. Traditionally, the Chairmen have come from the sponsoring government agencies (FAA, and DoD), and thus have a special and unique interest in the development of the handbook.
  • The Executive Group establishes overall Handbook goals, direction, and operating procedures. The EG establishes long-term Handbook plans, and is concerned with user needs and the long-term viability of the activity.
  • The Coordination Group approves new additions to the handbook, and can elect to remove existing material from the handbook. Currently, there are three Coordination Groups. The groups cover the distinct material technologies of Polymer Matrix Composites (PMC), Metal Matrix Composites (MMC), and Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMC). The Coordination Group determines the interaction between the Working Groups, resolves issues of overlapping responsibility.
  • Working Groups form the core of the technical work and section writing for the handbook activity. The Working Groups have a charter to cover a specific technical area of the handbook. It is expected that these technical areas will continue to evolve for the duration of the handbook activity.
  • Task Groups are created by a Working Group. These groups are given a specific technical topic to investigate, and report back to the WG. Generally, Task Groups are expected to produce new material for the handbook, which will then go through the normal approval procedure as WG sections.
  • The Secretariat provides professional support for the Handbook. The Secretariat provides the publication services to insure that the book is organized, edited, printed and distributed as a high quality product. The Secretariat helps organize the meetings of all the Coordination Groups, and provides the needed meeting services such as site selection, invitation, on-site support, and distribution of proceedings.The Secretariat is responsible for maintaining material databases, providing technical review of the data, and statistical data analysis.

Role of the Secretariat

The Secretariat is funded activity directed by the FAA. It's functions are:

  • Expedite work of coordination group
  • Handbook preparation and publication
  • Perform statistical data reduction and assist with data review
  • Meeting planning and onsite support
  • Maintain a participant Database
  • Generate proceedings and keep archives
  • Maintain Software
  • Promote CMH-17
  • Perform special Projects (such as this web site)
The current Secretariat Contractor is Wichita State University - National Institute for Aviation Research