Polymers and Textiles Conference 2019

November 19-21, 2019
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This conference will cover manufacturing and innovations, advancements in materials and fibers, workforce development, advanced textiles applications, business developments for advanced materials and products and aspects of sustainability. 

Abstract Deadline: October 1, 2019

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Session Topics:

  1. Manufacturing and Innovation - Manufacturing is constantly evolving with more efficient processes, optimization with sensing and predictive maintenance, networked machines and the cloud as well as the push towards more automation and robotic systems. Can older machines be retrofitted or do new machines and processes need to be implemented to stay ahead of the curve? How are engineers designing systems for the future?
  2. Advancements in Materials and Fibers - Critical to future pathway electronic textiles is the introduction of new electronic materials and the processes to impart them within or upon fabric forms. Through increasing the breadth of materials, more complex device architectures will be able to be formed. Here in we will explore these novel materials and methods, with particular focus on printing and fiber-based strategies, for understanding process-property relationships of the materials and their durability toward electronic textile applications. 
  3. Workforce Development - Smart textiles needs you! Perhaps the greatest challenge for the textile industry is workforce development. For the specialty of the smart textiles, a highly-skilled multidisciplinary perspective is required in order to understand the complexities of the textile industry and how your technology can be applied to highly non-traditional textile application or functions. In this session, we invite the perspective on industry and academia on the needs for this new workforce and a demonstration of the instructional tools or manufacturing initiatives that are able to be leveraged. 
  4. Advanced Textiles Applications/Smart and Connected - Textile research innovation is also driven by high performance requirements set forth by defense, first responders and sporting needs. High performance textiles are essential for aerial delivery, personal protective equipment (weather, fire, chemical, biological agent protection) and adaptable shelters for deployment and rescue/ relief operations. Consummer adoption of communication technologies everyday life has opened the possibility of integrating sensors and devices for human monitoring into textiles. This integration can drive broad utilization of smart textiles for healthcare, sports & fitness to monitor, report vitals (heart rate, blood pressure). These two sessions will cover both the challenges and opportunities for advanced textiles in high performance and health/wellness space.
  5. Business Development for Advanced Materials and Products - Technology development and the design and monetization of new markets is the creative engine behind our entrepreneurs and the investment community. Some of these new opportunities may not fit perfectly into existing models because they are a blending of expertise’s in material science, hardware, electrical and software to name a few. How are entrepreneurs planning for this diverse landscape as they grow their businesses?
  6. Sustainability in Smart Fabrics - Sustainability bridges environmental and civic awareness to science and engineering that provides innovative solutions that maintain and protect the environment and health without compromising our way of life. This seesion will focus both on toxics use reduction and circular economy in the context of textile and flexible electronics. End of life of Flexelectronics and wearables will also be covered. Policy issues of toxics use reduction and the drivers for standards can also be featured.
  7. Evolving Design Processes - Technology is becoming more intertwined with the design and product development process. Virtual prototyping, CAD driven automation, and mass customization have the potential to transform soft systems integration. How are evolving design processes changing the way we create product and foster cross-industry collaboration? How are new tools allowing designers to bridge the gap between aesthetics and technology?

Conference Chairs:

  • Jess Jur, North Carolina State University
  • Ram Nagarajan, University of Massacusetts, Lowell
  • Yolita Wildman, Flex, Textiles Program Management

Organizing Committee:

  • Yuly Fuentes, Massachusetts Institute of Technology