Speakers from Smart Fabrics Summit 2022

Meet the Smart Fabrics Summit 2022 Speakers! 

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Smart Fabrics Summit MC: Dr. Amanda Mills

Senior Design Project Coordinator & NEXT Fusion Designer | NC State University
Dr. Amanda C. Mills is a fusion designer and project coordinator in the Nano-EXtended Textiles (NEXT) research group in the Wilson College of Textiles at NC State University. Her focus is on developing innovative methods for electronics integration into textiles. She creates full system demonstration platforms to examine the impact of the textile on the device and vice versa. For example, this has included system level electronic designs and knit structure designs for human energy harvesting and physiological sensing.
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Keynote and Panelist:
Jennifer Knight

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Textiles, Consumer Goods and Materials at the U.S. Department of Commerce
As the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Textiles, Consumer Goods, and Materials (TCGM), Jennifer Knight oversees the Office of Textiles and Apparel, the Office of Materials Industries and the Office of Consumer Goods within the International Trade Administration’s Industry and Analysis unit.

Knight leads the work of TCGM to advance the global competitiveness of the U.S. textile and manufacturing industries through the development and execution of international trade and investment policies and promotion strategies.

Through her strategic vision, passionate leadership, and management skills Knight combines her unique understanding of the traditional textile industry with her proven experience in manufacturing and e-commerce to achieve success.
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Dr. Jan Beringer

Senior Scientific Expert | Hohenstein Institute America
Dr. Jan Beringer serves as the Senior Scientific Expert for Hohenstein. In this role, he uses an interdisciplinary approach to lead the development of clothing physiology, fit and workmanship of garments, functionalization of fabrics, textile UV protection and textile reprocessing. He has extensive knowledge in textile and fiber chemistry, functionalization, nanotechnology, coating and finishing and clothing physiology.

Prior to becoming Senior Scientific Expert in 2015, Dr. Beringer began his career as Head of the Competence Center Innovative Textiles at Hohenstein. From 2009 to 2015 he was the Head of Research and Development of the Department of Function and Care at Hohenstein, specializing in research and testing in the field. Dr. Beringer holds a Doctorate in Natural Sciences in Chemistry with a focus on Textile and Fiber Chemistry from the University of Stuttgart.
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Dr. Harish Chander

Associate Professor | Mississippi State University
Harish Chander, PhD is an associate professor of biomechanics and the co-director of the Neuromechanics Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology, Mississippi State University. Dr. Chander’s research, centers on the application of principles of biomechanics, neuromechanics, and ergonomics for injury prevention. His research focuses on human factors, athletics, clinical and daily living populations, with special emphasis in postural stability, gait, slips, trips, falls, and fall prevention in the workplace for injuries minimization and safety promotion.
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Michelle Farrington

VP of Strategic Growth, Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA)
Michelle Farrington is Vice President of Strategic Growth at AFFOA. Prior to joining AFFOA, Michelle was employed by Analog Devices for 24 years, where she worked on commercializing new technologies including MEMS inertial sensors, energy harvesting and e-textiles. She has held roles in manufacturing, product and technology development and business strategy. Michelle also started the e-textile technology development program at ADI.
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Dr. Charles Freeman

Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Retail and Cotton Product Development | Mississippi State University
Dr. Charles Freeman is an associate professor and director of the Center for Retail and Cotton Product Development. Currently, Dr. Freeman works with the Athlete Engineering program on new material application for stretch sensors to monitor and evaluate health, safety, and performance of high-risk occupations. His main research focuses on the assessments and new prototype development of personal flotation devices (PFD) for use in commercial fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. His projects have supported interdisciplinary graduate student research from the fields of Food Science, Chemical Engineering, Wildlife and Fisheries, and Clothing and Textiles. Prior research areas of interest have focused on product development and innovation specifically around new textile innovations and product design.
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Dr. David Hinks

Dean of the Wilson College of Textiles
Currently serving as Dean of the Wilson College of Textiles, Dr. David Hinks is proud and privileged to lead the College’s more than 145 full-time employees who mentor approximately 900 undergraduates, 250 graduate students, and upwards of 150 contracts with industry partners and 11 government agencies totaling greater than $10 million.

Hinks is a member of both NC State’s Academy of Outstanding Teachers and Academy of Outstanding Faculty Engaged in Extension and enjoys serving on the North Carolina Forensic Science Advisory Board. He is also a member of the North Carolina Economic Development Association. In addition to mentoring dozens of graduate students and post docs, visiting scholars and 20-plus undergraduate students in research, he has published more than 150 peer reviewed and conference papers in the area of color science, and forensic and environmental textile chemistry.
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Erin Parker

Graduate Research Assistant | Athlete Engineering, Mississippi State University
Erin works as a Graduate Research Assistant at Mississippi State University, where she is pursuing a Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering. She received two undergraduate degrees, a BS degree in Computer Engineering and a BS in Fashion Design and Merchandising, both from Mississippi State University. Over the past two years, Erin has worked as a member of MSU’s Athlete Engineering team, developing new wearable technology products and investigating standardization and test methods of E-Textiles and wearables.
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David Saucier

Research Engineer | Human Factors and Athlete Engineering, Mississippi State University
David Saucier is a Research Engineer for the Human Factors and Athlete Engineering Department at the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems. He received his M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Mississippi State University. He assists with planning, design, implementation, and data analysis for multiple studies validating stretch sensor technology as a means for collecting motion data in comparison to gold standard technology. He is also the lab lead for the Human Performance Lab and assists students and other researchers with training on the motion capture system as well as study design.
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Dr. Michael A. Saltzberg, Ph.D.

Global Business Director, DuPont Biomaterials
Dr. Michael A. Saltzberg is the Global Business Director of DuPont Biomaterials.

As Global Business Director for Biomaterials, Dr. Saltzberg leads the development of a portfolio of emerging and growth businesses which utilize renewable feedstocks to make affordable, high-performing biomaterials. Through the development of renewable bio-based materials, Saltzberg and his team are critical contributors to the global circular economy—supplying to industry giants in apparel, carpet, and cosmetics who have historically relied on the production of cheap petro-based polymers for products and helping them offer sustainable choices to their downstream customers. Architect and driver of DuPont's Biomaterials strategy since 2006, Mike is an industry veteran with over 30 years of experience in the bioeconomy and renewable sourced material space, R&D management, sales & marketing, and business development.

Dr. Saltzberg is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and holds a B.A. with Honors in Chemistry from Oberlin College and a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.
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Dr. George Sun

CEO & Founder, Nextiles, Inc.
George is the founder and CEO of Nextiles. George studied at Berkeley where he received his Bachelor’s in Bioengineering and Electrical Engineering & Computer Science. He went on to complete his PhD in Biological Engineering at MIT. While at MIT, George was recruited to lead Puma’s Embedded Engineering team where he applied his materials science knowledge with his electrical engineering expertise to optimize footwear projects in the Puma innovation lab. After seeing shortcomings from wearable technology during his time at Puma, George set out to reinvent the industry — from the ground up with fabric. George spun out Nextiles from MIT after being awarded three patents around the domain of fabric-based sensors.
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Elena Veety

Education and Operations Director, Center for Advanced Self-Powered Systems of Integrated Sensors and Technologies (ASSIST)
Elena Veety is the ASSIST Center’s Education Director as well as a Teaching Assistant Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at North Carolina State University. Over the past ten years, Elena has led the ASSIST Center’s various workforce development and outreach programs, with the goal of training the next generation of innovators in ASSIST’s key technology areas. These programs help further the Center’s vision of creating self-powered sensing, computing, and communication systems to enable data-driven insights for a smart and healthy world. Elena received her Ph.D. in electrical engineering from North Carolina State University in 2011. Her research was in the area of nano-electronics and photonics, with a focus on liquid crystal polarization gratings for tunable optical filters and telecommunications applications.
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Tanya Wade

Entrepreneur Intake Administrator for the Manufacturing Solutions Center (MSC) and Project Coordinator for the Carolina Textile District (CTD)
Tanya Wade is currently the Entrepreneur Intake Administrator for the Manufacturing Solutions Center (MSC), as well as the Project Coordinator for the Carolina Textile District (CTD), both located in NC.

She is a resource for start-ups, entrepreneurs and brands who want to produce sewn goods domestically and connects them with manufacturers and mills who can assist with that process. She also teaches the Sewn Goods Workshops offered by CTD that educates start-ups and entrepreneurs on the domestic production process of sewn goods and how to work with domestic manufacturers.

She is currently preparing to launch a PPE/Textile Resource Lab at MSC2, a new addition to the Manufacturing Solutions Center. This lab will assist domestic manufacturers and companies by connecting them to material sources and services provided by other manufacturers in the US.
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Dr. Andre West

Director of Zeis Textiles Extension at Wilson College of Textiles, NCSU Wilson College of Textiles
Dr. Andre West is the Director of the Zeis Textiles Extension (ZTE) and an Associate Professor in the Department of Textile Apparel Technology and Management at the Wilson College of Textile at NC State University. His role as the Director of ZTE is to keep sustainable textiles at the forefront of future textiles, cultivating a more responsible ecosystem for the fashion industry. This is achieved by education and mobilizing students, industry, and consumers to be positive advocates while leveraging industry-related partnerships. He is involved in sustainable manufacturing techniques with Wholegarment knitting for zero waste. He has made numerous national and international presentations on how textile production should achieve a total circular economy.