Cornell fiber scientist Anil Netravali, a leader in developing biodegradable plant-based composites for buildings, furniture and commercial products ranging from sports gear to auto parts, received the Founder's Award from The Fiber Society at its fall conference in Boston, Nov. 7-9.
The award honors a Fiber Society member who has made outstanding contributions to the science, engineering and technology of fibers, fiber-based products and fibrous materials.
"While I am honored to be recognized with this award, I view it as an honor for my entire research group -- from the students to postdocs who have worked hard on this research," said Netravali, professor of fiber science and apparel design in the College of Human Ecology.
Netravali's work centers on the creation of green resins from proteins, starches and natural fibers that are fabricated into environmentally friendly composites as an alternative to metals, plastics and petroleum-based products. Unlike traditional composites, which usually end up in landfills, green composites are fully compostable. In 2006 Netravali co-founded Ithaca-based e2e Materials, a clean technology company that manufactures soy-based composites for furniture and other uses.
Netravali accepted the award in the name of Wayne Sisson, a pioneer in cellulose research who worked closely with William Boyce Thompson, founder of the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, an independent nonprofit located on Cornell's Ithaca campus.
Founded in 1941, The Fiber Society is a nonprofit professional and scientific association based at North Carolina State University.
Ted Boscia is assistant director of communications for the College of Human Ecology.