Dr. Melik Demirel was invited by the Taiwan Textile Research Institute (TTRI) to be one of the keynote speakers at the Taipei International and Forum and Exhibition (TIFE) 2018. His topic was “Biotechnology Routes to Advanced Fibers in Textiles and Fabric Discovery in USA.”
Dr. Melik Demirel is a Full Professor, College of Engineering & Director for Research on Advanced Fiber Technologies, Engineering Science and Mechanics, Pennsylvania State University (USA),
In an interview with eye on Taiwan, Dr. Demirel said, the worldwide textile industry is a 2.8 trillion economy that is considered to be a large economy but with a downsize effect because it is the most polluting economy.
Dr, Demirel said, we should focus on sustainability in the environment. Moving away from natural fibers to new synthetics. The lack of natural materials such as not having enough silk or wool have made polyester and synthetics coming to the market. Suggestions made by Dr. Demirel is how to create new synthetics fibers that are available in large quantities and cost competitive with existing fiber and that have the same quality. Research need to be done on these new directions.
Dr. Demirel is highly well renowned for his ground-breaking work on self-healing materials. Biotechnology and nanotechnology merging into textile is a new direction. Creating new fibers into the cycle economy. However, the biggest problem posed in the industry is coming up with new fibers and the difficulty in integrating into the market. The new challenge is to create cycle sustainable economics.
Taiwan and the USA should hold more workshops and forums, exchange further communication, focus on fundamental research. As Dr. Demirel mentioned in his keynote address, focusing on basic science technology problems and discovering new fibers. Although it may take time, government sources may be needed for fundamental research and patience required. It will take 10 to 15 years from basic science to market and the focus is creating sustainable materials.
Dr. Melik is Director of CRAFT (Center for Research on Advanced Fiber Technologies). CRAFT mission focuses on Research (advanced fibers between TRL-4 and TRL-7 and new intellectual property with companies), Education and Service (workshops and conferences, fiber network infrastructure).
CRAFT is working on Next Generation Programmable BioFibers and holds Workshop on 2D-Protien Fibers.
Taiwan is an island, with limited resources and has to come up with sustainable resources. It needs to change the game and make textile non-pollutant. Smart textiles to change the world.
Dr. Demirel is a scientist and innovator (co-founder of Tandem Repeat Technologies, www.tandemrepeat.com) with expertise in biotechnology, nanotechnology and materials science. He is the director of CRAFT Center at Penn State.
He has published over 100 articles in refereed journals with 4000+ citation, 10 cover pages in refereed publications and h-index of 30 including high impact publications (Nature Materials, PNAS and Nature Biotechnology, Physical Review Letters), conference proceedings and patents. He received numerous national and international awards as well as educated over 50+ students as a faculty member at Penn State.
Dr. Demirel is well known for his ground-breaking work on self-healing materials. His new approach, programmable quantum materials, bridges the interfaces among molecular biology, biophysics, biotechnology, mechanics, large-scale computation, and materials science, engineering. (Taiwan Textile Research Institute Advertisement)