Winners of three 2020 IUR research grants announced

10 February 2020

The executive committee of the IULTCS is pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 IUR research grants to be awarded to three young scientists, under the age of 35. The monetary awards help support the work of young talent in the leather sector.

This is the sixth year of the grants which have been generously supported by industry and IULTCS alike. The selection committee of the IULTCS Research Commission (IUR), chaired by Dr Michael Meyer, is pleased to announce the following recipients:

Young Leather Scientist Grant 2020 Basic Research

Dr Megha Mehta, PhD, AMRSC from New Zealand Leather and Shoe Research Association (LASRA), Palmerston North, New Zealand. IULTCS has provided the monetary sponsorship for a single sum of €1,500 grant to Basic Research. The title of her project is 'Investigating the Structural Differences of Hides, Skins and Leather Throughout the Different Processing Stages'.

Dr Mehta’s project’s main objective is the utilisation of two non-destructive techniques – Raman and ATR-FTIR spectroscopy - to investigate the structural profiles of hides or skins throughout the stages of leather processing. This will enable investigation of the changes that take place in the microstructure of leather. The structural basis of these changes at the level of collagen crosslinks is poorly understood.

Young Leather Scientist Grant 2020 Machinery Award

Nilay Ork Efendioglu, Ege University, Leather Engineering Department, Turkey. Machinery manufacturer ERRETRE has again generously provided the monetary sponsorship for a single sum of €1,000 grant for machinery / equipment research. The title of the project is 'Determining Leather Properties Required for 3D Simulation Programs and Obtaining Realistic Visualizations'.

The major objective of this project is to apply or adapt the leather material options in 3D visualisation and simulation program as including many different properties of leathers, especially for the garment leathers. The benefit of this research will be to define a path to build up a leather material database for 3D simulation programmes. This will enable production of final realistic visuals of the leather garment in the form of a sample, or in the form of production variations, without mistakes. Also, visuals will be as per customer request at a point where the leather cost is not existing, which will increase the competitiveness of the leather apparel sector.

Professor Mike Redwood Young Leather Scientist Grant 2020 Sustainability/Environmental Award

Wenkai Zhang, also from New Zealand Leather and Shoe Research Association (LASRA) will be the beneficiary of the generosity of Leather Naturally, which has sponsored the €1,000 grant for the project entitled 'Fate of Biocides used in Leather Industry and Their Environmental Impact'.

The objective of this project is to investigate the fate of biocides used in the leather industry and their degradation products. It aims to quantify the distribution of the applied biocides in the processing skin/leather, the pickling liquor and the processing float, to identify and quantify the degradation products of the biocides and to understand the condition at which the degradation happens during leather processing.

Dr Michael Meyer, the IUR chair of the Selection Committee, stated “All three project proposals show technological knowledge at a very high level and demonstrate the competitiveness of the leather industry with other industries worldwide.” The IULTCS looks forward to seeing the outcomes of the projects and wishes all the Award recipients every success as they contribute to expanding our industry knowledge.

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