Technology Research Area
The key focus in the Technology Research Area is Textile Technology and Colour and Imaging, which reflects their global importance in a multitude of consumer, industrial and healthcare applications. From the design of environmentally sustainable raw materials and manufacturing processes, to the development and delivery of new experimental methods and product concepts.
This research area addresses global challenges relevant to high value engineering, healthcare, sustainable cities as well as water and energy resource security. In addition to applying scientific knowledge for practical purposes, fundamental research is conducted to establish basic understanding of underlying mechanisms. The technology area benefits from a diverse skillsets enabled by a multinational team of researchers drawn from many different fields of design, science and engineering. Research is supported by agencies such as EPSRC, BBSRC, NIHR, Innovate UK, The Clothworkers’ Foundation and numerous PLCs and SMEs.
Research in the Textile Technology Group traces its roots back to 1874 and spans fibre science and technology, yarn and fabric manufacturing including nonwovens, fabric finishing, testing and characterisation and engineering of environmentally sustainable textile materials and processes for applications beyond traditional boundaries, such as healthcare. Our current, multi-million pound externally funded research project portfolio includes work on the design and manufacture of fibres and high performance composites from recycled materials, collagen-based textiles that promote repair and regeneration of bone and soft tissues and sustainable dyes and functional fabric finishes and antimicrobials that reduce reliance on oil-based resources. Globally, textile graduates are making substantial contributions to global industry and commerce, manufacturing and design, education and public service. Our research is also making a wider impact through product innovation. One example is the field of waterless washing technology, where polymer bead technology is employed instead of water to clean textiles. The Company set up to exploit this research, Xeros PLC, now has a market cap of £150 million (2016). This is just one of a number of Leeds spinout companies that have formed as a result of Leeds’ textile research.
In the Colour Technology Research Group the measurement and appearance of colour for design and manufacturing applications is a major area of focus. This research encompasses the study of the role of colour technology in the design process, which includes cross-media colour reproduction, colour communication, on-screen simulation of visual properties, methods to develop scales for measuring colour emotion and colour semiotics. Work in the area of colour physics has led to new international standards for colour difference (CIEDE2000) and colour appearance (CIECAM02) that are now widely used in the industry for quality control. The group also contributes to policy and international standards published by the International Commission on Illumination (CIE) and the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO). A substantial proportion of our research is conducted with, and funded by, industrial partners such as Samsung, LG, Unilever, Proctor and Gamble, Apple and Xerox. Innovation outcomes include commercial products such as a novel imaging system for measuring and controlling colour in food and related industries (DigiEye), and development of an image-analysis system for assessing clinical trials of new tooth-whitening systems as well as lenses (for spectacles and contacts) that can correct for colour blindness.
The Technology Research Area is led by Professor Steve Russell and Dr Parik Goswami.