MANHATTAN, Kan. — A multidisciplinary team from Kansas State University will be part of a public-private partnership seeking technological revolutions in fibers and textiles that will have a significant impact on national defense, human health and safety.
The Advanced Functional Fabrics of America Institute's Fabric Innovation Network is receiving $75 million in funding from the Department of Defense and more than $240 million in matching contributions to advance the design and manufacture of technologically-enhanced fabrics.
The Advanced Functional Fabrics of America, or AFFOA, is a partnership between public and private sectors, including companies, capitalists, universities and nonprofits. Kansas State University joins more than 30 other universities in the Fabric Innovation Network for a system integration prototype and textile research.
Jooyoun Kim, assistant professor and textile scientist in the apparel, textiles, and interior design department in Kansas State University's College of Human Ecology, represented the university at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on April 1, for the announcement of the network funding. Also attending were Ashton B. Carter, U.S. secretary of defense, and other dignitaries, including governors and members of Congress.
Kim led the university's effort with the initial team of 11 faculty members from six departments in five colleges: Santosh Aryal, chemistry; Seong-O Choi and Jeffrey Comer, anatomy and physiology; Julia Day and Sherry Haar, apparel, textiles, and interior design; Steve Warren and Punit Prakash, electrical and computer engineering; Tim Sobering, electronics design laboratory; Steven Eckels, mechanical and nuclear engineering; and David Richter-O'Connell, interior architecture & product design. Kim will be the main contact for the future efforts.
"Dr. Kim is an incredible asset to the AFFOA initiative with her background in fiber and polymer science," said Barbara Anderson, head of the apparel, textiles, and interior design department. "Her specific research in surface modification and characterization for the health and safety applications, coupled with more than six years of experience in 3M, enables her to bring a knowledgeable perspective to the further development of innovative materials and textiles."
The Advanced Functional Fabrics of America Institute will be in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and charged with creating an advanced textile industry through utilizing technology and furthering research through partnerships that collect intellect and resources and that will revitalize more than 50,000 jobs in the next 10 years.