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Wind turbine blade manufacture

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Wind Turbine - Credit: Nicholas Doherty/

Credit: Nicholas Doherty/

Fast-curing resins for the efficient manufacturing of high-performance recyclable wind turbine blades.

Building Better Composites

Dan Lee with Composite Material
Dan Lee with composite material

When Stanford post-doctoral researcher Dan C. Lee and John Feist ’23 PhD were first selected for the HIT Fund last year, they knew they had an important technology— a fast-curing resin produced from a byproduct of the oil industry—that could change the world of composites. They just weren’t quite sure what kind of change would be most amenable to the market.

Composites, including some types of plastic, are made from a combination of materials that are stronger than the sum of their parts. The resin created by Lee and Feist can help synthesize composites with higher performance, more efficient manufacturing, and end-of-life recycling. With introductions initiated by HIT, the pair met and discussed their technology with representatives from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the textile industry, and 3D printing, battery packaging, and even sporting-goods manufacturers. Ultimately, they decided to focus on how their technology can simplify the production of wind turbines.

The HIT Fund team’s mentorship was crucial, the pair said.

“When we were struggling with making a decision, they never told us how to think or what to do, but they held us to a standard of making sure that what we were doing made sense,” Lee explained.

Feist added that the fund’s guidance through the entrepreneurial process was also invaluable. “That’s the big thing we took from the HIT Fund experience: learning to think like an entrepreneur,” Feist said and Lee agreed.

“Thanks to them, we’re months ahead of where we thought we would be,” Lee said.

Quote from Dan Lee: Thanks to the HIT Fund, we're months ahead of where we thought we would be in forming a startup."

About the Technology

The Inflation Reduction Act and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act are pushing forward global ambitions to transition to greener and more robust economies. How will manufacturers resolve the supply chain challenges presented by these emerging but critical opportunities? Greener cars, buildings, airplanes, bridges, and wind turbines will necessitate new materials, designs, and more efficient manufacturing processes. The team is working towards developing materials and processing technologies that can allow manufacturers to build better, faster, and more sustainably, ultimately accelerating design cycles and improving production while reducing operational costs and energy use.


Team Members

Photo of Dan C. Lee
Dan C. Lee
Postdoc Scholar, Chemistry
Photo of John Feist
John Feist
PhD, Chemistry
Prof. Yan Xia for HIT page
Prof. Yan Xia
PI, Chemistry
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