Department of Fibres & Textile Processing Technology, ICT featured Prof. Rajiv Padhye, Director, Centre for Material Innovation and Future Fashion, School of Fashion and Textiles, College of Designing and social Context, RMIT University, Australia on “Saving Lives” – Materials for Protection during the 5th Prof. W. B Achwal Endowment Oration on 3rd June 2021. The Online aired program received overwhelming response from the students, academicians and industry representatives from across the world.

Prof. Ravindra Adivarekar welcomed the audience and briefed about the significance and value of the endowment and the activities performed in the past and planned in the coming year.

Shri Subhash Soudagar – a 1973 batch M.Sc.(Tech) student of Late Prof. Achwal & an eminent industry stalwart shared his fond memories of his beloved Guru recalling him as a strict academic disciplinarian but a helpful kind hearted person. A sport enthusiast and motivator for participation in extra-curricular activities. How Prof. Achwal helped nurture the values and ethics in students which helped him advancing in industrial career.

Dr. Sanjeev Kamat – a well known and respected industry expert and student of Prof. Achwal informed about the recent sad demise of another student of Achwal sir Shri Vilas Mohite and paid homage to him.

Prof. Ganapati Yadav, Padmashri Awardee – former Vice Chancellor of the Institute shared his reminisce about Late Prof. Achwal and recalled his academic accolades and narrated incidences which instilled his fond memories, the command and fluency of Prof. Achwal over foreign languages like German and Russian in which he published many Textile related research articles and also his immense contribution to science by writing in a simple, easy to understand Marathi language for the common public.

Shri Abhijit Achwal – son of late Prof. Achwal shared his fond memories and highlighted the discipline, punctuality, focussed systematic work approach and jolly helpful nature. He thanked the textile department for arranging the endowment event and Prof. Rajiv Padhye for accepting the invitation to deliver this lecture.

Prof. Aniruddha Pandit, Vice Chancellor welcomed all to the memorial lecture and thanked Prof. Padhye for selecting a relevant topic on Saving Lives by using protective textiles under the ongoing pendemic condition.

Prof. Rajiv Padhye delivered a highly informative and knowledge sharing lecture on Protective Textiles for saving lives. Given below are excerpts;

After giving brief information about the present status of the Textile industry in Australia and the reasons for the shift from the commodity apparel wear to the specialised value added functional technical textiles. He explained the role and activities of the Centre for Materials Innovation and Future Fashion (CMIFF) within RMIT University. He explained advantages of strategically mixing a natural polyamide fibre like Wool with Kevlar, a synthetic aromatic Polyamide in terms of achieving a multi-layered Ballistic protection along with improved wet performance. The various tests specifications to evaluate the performance efficacy of the blended fabric were provided.

Another example highlighted the development of high strength fabric for combat clothing to mitigate shrapnel Impact. A lightweight material constructed using seamless knitting utilising a 3D CAD system was also mentioned.

The next segment of innovation was in the field of Chemical, Biological and Radiological (CBR) protection. A multi-layered protective apparel system with improved physiological comfort for metabolic stress reduction was explained. The other innovations included protective Vests for Policewomen, development of Next-to-skin sports fabric with high abrasion and penetration resistance, IVA skin suites for space travel, Novel car seat to facilitate reliable Airbag deployment, surgical mesh, etc. Many of these innovative products are presently under the advanced stages of development and considering the aspects of confidentiality the specific composition parts could not be revealed.

Prof. Padhye also touched upon the importance of sustainability and the research directed towards recycling of Mattresses and converting post-consumer textile waste into reusable products. The use of recycled fibre materials for the building insulation and acoustic performance of Soft Pod fibre board’s was also highlighted. Textile coloration with Natural dyes and fibre reinforced concrete are some of the on-going research projects.

During the post oration question answer session, Prof. Padhye ably responded to various questions pertaining to the innovative research activities, ideas, concepts, materials and methods.

Proposing Vote of Thanks, Prof. R. R. Deshmukh, Registrar thanked the audience for attentively participating in the Prof. Achwal endowment lecture and thanked Prof. Padhye for delivering excellent talk explaining the importance of Saving Lives using Protective Textile material.

Prof. Rajiv Padhye – A brief introduction

Prof. Rajiv Padhye is an alumnus of the department of Fibres and Textile Processing Technology of ICT (formerly UDCT). After graduation, he went to UK and did doctorate from University of Leeds and now he is the Director of ‘Centre for Materials Innovation and Future Fashion’ at the RMIT University, Australia. He has a unique distinction of having both the industrial as well as academic experience. This has helped him in the application performance oriented research. He specialises in sustainable aspects of Textile colouration and functional Coatings for Protective, Sports and Medical textiles applications.

Prof. Padhye has published 6 co-edited books, 12 book chapters and over 150 research articles and has presented papers at various Conferences. He is a chief research project investigator for Australian Defence and other industry partners. He has three joint Patents and commercialisation agreement on “Soft Ballistic fabric”, “Deployable air bags”,” Abrasion resistive fabric in sports application” and “Application of sensors in fire fighter’s uniform.

Prof. Padhye has won many awards including the ‘Australia New Zealand Sports Technology Award’ and Capability Improvement Award by the Australian Defence Materials Innovation Centre. He is a Fellow of the Textile Institute UK, Technical Textiles and Non-Woven Association (Australia), Society of Dyers and Colourists for Australia & New Zealand.