Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Design


David M Lewis

Visiting Professor

Dave initially was employed at the International Wool Secretariat (IWS) Ilkley until 1978 with his main focus being on the development of new dyeing and chemical finishing processes for wool. He then worked at CSIRO, Division of Textile Industry, Geelong, Australia as a Senior Research Scientist (1978-1979) developing metallisable, sublimable disperse dyes for the transfer printing of wool and wool-blend fabrics. On his return to the UK and the IWS he was responsible for coloration and chemical finishing developments for wool and wool blends. However in 1987 Dave became Professor and Head of Department of Colour Chemistry at the University of Leeds and held this post until 2004 when he became Research Professor and finally Emeritus Professor.

In a long and distinguished career Dave has received many awards, for example the Gold Medal of the Worshipful Company of Dyers in 2005 for a paper published regarding the dyeing of nylon with novel quaternary-ethylsulphide-ethylsulphonyl cationic reactive dyes. In addition he was awarded the Millson Award for Invention by the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colourists in 2005 and subsequently the Olney medal, for outstanding achievement in textile chemistry, by the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colourists in 2009.

Dave has always believed that in developing novel technology and chemicals, there is a vital need to translate the knowledge into establishing downstream commercial activities. Accordingly in 2004 he became Research Director of Inovink Ltd and Chief Scientific Officer of Perachem (University spin out company), both successful commercial enterprises.

Dave’s ongoing research interests involve imparting dimensional stability in wool and cotton, fibre arylation for improved anti-wrinkle finishing and disperse dyeing, cotton modification for improved dyeability and lower environmental impact, fibre/reactive dye interactions, new safer permanent hair dyes, novel bleaching technologies, chlorine-free anti-bacterials, non-formaldehyde flame retardants/finishes and novel infra-red absorbers and phosphors for high security printing. Inovink has also patented novel methods to print 3-dimensional objects using the desk-top ink-jet printer thus allowing Braille to be printed cheaply at home!

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