Larsen will leave the post on Aug. 11. He will be replaced by Chief Operating Officer David Walter, who will combine his current role with that of CEO. “Bob has put his heart and soul into making the CRTC successful – from finding start-up funding and bringing in research projects and partners, to setting up the facility, building the team and producing our first product,” Walter said. “He is leaving the CRTC in good shape and with everything we need to move forward and be successful.”
Larsen has served as CEO since March 2016. Prior to that he was chairman of the CRTC’s Board of Directors. He was instrumental in establishing strategic partnerships with Toray Composite Materials America, ELG Carbon Fibre, Ltd., and the Institute for Advanced Composite Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) to create new markets for recycled carbon fiber materials left over from aerospace manufacturing.
“Starting up the CRTC and bringing new jobs and economic development to Port Angeles has been a very gratifying experience, and I have been honored to be able to serve our community,” Larsen said. “But I realized, when my wife and I went on our ‘bucket list’ vacation to Europe recently, that there are a lot of things we want to do together that I don’t have time to do with my current responsibilities. The CRTC is very well positioned for future success and I look forward to cheering them on.”
From its new, state-of-the-art facility leased from the Port of Port Angeles, the CRTC has pioneered the recycling and reuse of tons of uncured carbon fiber composite scrap that would otherwise go to landfills. The CRTC’s focus is to create jobs and drive economic development in Clallam County.
The U.S. produces about 29 million pounds of carbon fiber scrap per year, with 2 million pounds per year produced in Washington state – a volume expected to double over the next five to eight years, with the expansion of regional manufacturing.
Under a new contract with IACMI, the CRTC will pioneer ways to automate processing of this scrap and remanufacture it into new consumer products. This technology breakthrough is essential so carbon fiber scrap can be processed in high volumes, fulfilling the enormous potential for energy savings and carbon reduction and creating a global composites recycling industry.
For its technological innovation and new market creation, CRTC earned the Silver Award for Sustainability from Seattle Business Magazine in 2017. The company has created 16 jobs and more than $3 million in new economic activity over the past year, garnering a 2016 Award of Excellence from the Clallam County Economic Development Corporation.
The CRTC has a multi-faceted agreement with Toray Composite Materials America for scrap carbon fiber supply and materials development, and continues to work very collaboratively with this strategic partner.
Funding for the CRTC recycling facility and campus was provided by the Port of Port Angeles, the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the Washington State Department of Commerce, the Clallam County Opportunity Fund and the City of Port Angeles.
The CRTC campus also houses Peninsula College’s Advanced Manufacturing Composite Technology program with classrooms, offices, and lab facilities. The program gives students hands-on training in advanced materials recycling and remanufacturing techniques. Co-location with CRTC provides students with unequaled opportunities for internships, manufacturing and R&D experience, and exposure to production operations.