Academic journal article Human Ecology

Boosting Business: Fiber Science Research Helps NY Companies

Academic journal article Human Ecology

Boosting Business: Fiber Science Research Helps NY Companies

Article excerpt

Through the Cornell Center for Materials Research's

JumpStart program, New York businesses are connecting with Human Ecology scientists and students to refine their products.

"We place a tremendous value on the research that's being done at Cornell," says Greg Post, CEO of the Rochester-based SensGard, which manufactures hearing protection for industry and construction. "For a business like ours, having access to Cornell faculty and students is a huge asset, and it's moving us forward at a much faster pace than we could go any other way."

In 2012, the first time Post applied to JumpStart, he worked with Chih-Chang Chu, the Rebecca Q. Morgan '60 Professor in Fiber Science & Apparel Design, who created a methodology to evaluate the company's foam ear cuffs. Next, Post collaborated with FSAD professor Anil Netravali and his students, who compression-tested nine kinds of foam and proposed design changes to the cuff, shell, and earpieces.

"This was a project I would never have envisioned doing without JumpStart," says Netravali, who generally works on green materials. "The design students learned a lot about materials, and the engineering students joining our team learned a lot about design." Like Netravali, FSAD associate professor Margaret Frey encountered a new challenge with her recent JumpStart project: How do you measure smelliness? …

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