SoHE’s Sarmadi Receives Spitze Land-Grant Award

Majid Saramdi

Congratulations to SoHE Professor Majid Sarmadi, winner of the 2015 Robert G. F. and Hazel T. Spitze Land-Grant Professorial Career Excellence Award! Since 1988, Sarmadi has been educating students in the Design Studies Department, teaching textile science and best practices at UW-Madison.

Sarmadi has devoted his professional career to the scientific research and development of environmentally improved production of textiles. “The thinking ‘behind the scenes’ in all my research, teaching, and outreach activities is this: I believe the effect on textiles is temporary, but the effect on the environment can be permanent. The things I create should help save the environment for the future”. This sentiment is what sets Sarmadi’s impressive research apart from any others—his innovation and conscientious efforts help to preserve our environment through fabrics and materials. His focus on sustainability has led him to develop textiles through the use of cold plasma, investigating how this will help to abate the level of waste and pollution through new manufacturing methods.

As a faculty member at the School of Human Ecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Sarmadi has also been able to help disseminate this powerful information to students, developing seven new courses and creating the Textile Science Certificate. He bridges the technical aspect of textile engineering to the concept of design, encouraging students to improve upon their work while being aware of the ethical implications of their textile productions.

Sarmadi embodies the spirit of the Wisconsin Idea by reaching beyond the boundaries of campus and state borders, helping to generate plans for state buildings to select sustainable carpeting. “(This included) recycled materials, designing carpets that can be recycled, and improving the health of the textile workers and building occupants by reducing or eliminating harmful chemicals in their production,” explains Sarmadi. “The specifications that I wrote had economic implications as well. For example, California saved more than $40 million on one contract alone.”

About the Award

The Robert G. F. and Hazel T. Spitze Land-Grant Professorial Career Excellence Award is presented to encourage and recognize the career of tenured faculty in their performance and commitment to teaching and advising; research and publications; extension and public service; faculty governance; and participation in professional associations. The award also recognizes the spirit of public land-grant universities, which continues to value the education on topics such as agriculture, science and engineering.

This recognition to land-grant universities helps to preserve the continued opportunities it offers for worldwide contribution to the betterment of humankind and to democratic institutions in an ever-changing environment. Recipients are honored based on their commitment to the land-grant mission.

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