AATCC announces Materials Competition winners
American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) announces the winners of their fifth annual student AATCC Materials Competition. The AATCC Materials interest group invited graduate and undergraduate students to submit innovative product development ideas from a material structures design perspective. The winning concepts both focused on human health and safety—a growing market for textile innovations.
1st Place: Anti-Microbial Tactical Boot by Garry Atkinson, North Carolina State University (NCSU)
"The inspiration for my design stems from my interest in developing innovative products that protect the health of the user," says Atkinson. He learned of the competition through his faculty advisor, Dr. Lisa Chapman, at NCSU. "I was interested in applying my knowledge as a product designer and creating a product that improves the user experience," Atkinson says. "The fact that the possibilities for products are endless was the best part of the competition!"
2nd Place: ProTech-tive Apparel by Andrea Rivas, Lindsay Remington, Katie Voytko, and Anna Clark, North Carolina State University (NCSU)
Lindsay Remington says the product design came about after their class assessed the properties of Unifi's All-In-One (AIO) fiber. "After understanding the immense antimicrobial properties of this fiber, we were able to draw inspiration from a friend who suffered from the MRSA virus. We adapted this problem and tested the AIO fiber against Staph bacteria," says Remington. Anna Clark says the competition taught her more about different fabric properties that can be applied to improve a product. "Learning in a more practical way was one of the best parts of the competition," agrees Remington.
"Concepts are easier to understand when they are being put into practice. (Winning 2nd place was also an upside!)" The project encompassed more than just marketing a product, says Remington. "We got hands-on experience with a small supply chain, testing, marketing and branding, and consumer research," she says.
What advice do the current winners have for future competitors? Clark said teamwork was paramount. "Learn to work as a team and support one another," she says. Remington says hard work is also key to doing well. "Start early and keep on top of your work throughout the semester. No slacking!" she says. Above all, "create a plan, stay focused, and have fun!" counsels Rivas.
Winning entries received cash awards of US$1,000 for first place and US$500 for second. The winners also receive complimentary registration for the AATCC International Conference, March 22-24, 2011, in Charleston, S.C., U.S.A.
Entries were evaluated for concept originality, design element integration, technical feasibility, clarity of supporting documentation, and technical and materials rationale. The judges were Philip J. Brown, Clemson University; Seshadri Ramkumar, Texas Tech University; and Kanti Jasani, Performance and Technical Textile Consulting.
AATCC - American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists