Advanced Textile Products and the Narrow Fabrics Institute, divisions of the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI), recently selected the winners of the 2018 Advanced Textiles Student Design Competition. The awards were announced during IFAI Expo 2018, held in Dallas, Texas, Oct. 15-18.
First-place honors went to J. Walter Lee, Stephanie Wang and Caroline Albers from the University of Minnesota, for their Intra-spacesuit Electromyography Garment System. The project is a non-invasive, textile-based wearable system that can be used for measuring muscle activations of the body inside a spacesuit or any other rigid, small compartment where optical research methods are not viable.
The purpose of the design is to assist researchers in addressing musculoskeletal injury risks for astronauts, a pervasive risk during spaceflight and training on earth. The team’s work included studying system forms and materials, as well as anthropometrics to address adjustability and proper support.
Megan Cavellier from Central Michigan University took second prize with her ReCover Hospital Gown, intended to address the special needs of teenagers, who can be very self-conscious about what they wear, even in the hospital. The new design provides teens with a sense of dignity, along with physical and emotional safety.
Third prize was awarded to Jeremy Doody, Marjorie Pickard, Joshua Gvillinsky and Jaime Shimra Fine from the University of Rhode Island, for their Posture Monitoring Smart Shirt. The smart technology-enabled compression shirt uses integrated sensors to continuously monitor an individual’s posture, and can monitor complex movements, even detecting bending over or lifting in a potentially harmful way. Wearers can track their posture though a Bluetooth-connected smartphone app.
This year’s challenge was to use textiles as a major component to design aerospace, medical, military, safety/protective or other wearable and nonwearable textile technology applications. The competition is meant to encourage students to pursue careers in the advanced textiles field. Students compete for a prize package worth more than $6,000, including a trip to IFAI Expo, to present their winning projects and spend time with industry members from all parts of the textile supply chain.