Seshadri Ramkumar has worked in the advanced textiles field for two decades.
Seshadri Ramkumar, a professor in the Texas Tech University Department of Environmental Toxicology and lead investigator in the Nonwovens and Advanced Materials Laboratory, has recently been awarded two of the most prestigious honors in the textiles field: a fellowship with The Textile Institute in the United Kingdom and the 2017-18 Professor W. B. Achwal Oration from the Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai, India.
“These two international honors are based on my research activity carried out over 19 years at Texas Tech University,” Ramkumar said. “This showcases the collective effort of students who have worked in my laboratory and the continued support Texas Tech has provided me all these years. I feel it is a recognition for all of us involved.”
Steve Presley, chair of the Department of Environmental Toxicology, said the awards recognize Ramkumar's significant contributions to the textile industry at the national and international levels.
“The importance of such international recognition of Dr. Ramkumar's career-long scientific achievements and contributions to the textile industry are far-reaching and reflect the world class innovative faculty of the Department of Environmental Toxicology at Texas Tech University,” Presley said.
Founded in 1910, The Textile Institute, located in the United Kingdom, is the oldest chartered professional body in textiles and fiber science and, to this day, maintains an international reputation for excellence.
“Fellowship is one of the highest professional recognitions for scientists/technologists,” Ramkumar said. “The honor from this century-old, well-established body is an endorsement of the research and academic efforts at Texas Tech, which our global peers have considered worthy.”
To become a fellow, each applicant's work is first verified by three references. A committee of academics and industrialists then reviews the application and makes the award, which is ratified by the institute's governing council.
“The Textile Institute was founded to promote professionalism and disseminate knowledge within textiles,” said Rebecca Unsworth, executive director of The Textile Institute. “Fellowship is the highest professional qualification that can be awarded by the institute's governing council and is reserved for those members who have made a major personal contribution to the textile industry. Professor Ramkumar was awarded the fellowship for his outstanding achievement in innovation and academic research.”
On Feb. 20, Ramkumar delivered the Professor W. B. Achwal Endowed Oration, titled “An Odyssey with Technical Textiles,” at the Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai, which is recognized as an elite institution by the Maharashtra Government of India. His lecture focused on the status of the emerging technical textiles sector and highlighted the research of two doctoral students in the Nonwovens and Advanced Materials Laboratory who are alumni of the Institute of Chemical Technology.
“In the fiber science field, this oration is deemed most coveted, as it is named after the now-deceased Professor Achwal, a most famous textile chemist,” Ramkumar said.
Ramkumar attributes the award not only to his research contributions, but also to a longstanding partnership between his laboratory and many institutes in India.