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US' INDA honours 4 nonwoven professionals with lifetime awards

12 May '23
4 min read


  • INDA, the association of the nonwoven fabrics industry, has awarded Jan O'Regan, Seshadri Ramkumar, Jim Robinson, and Ed Thomas with the Lifetime Service Award and Lifetime Technical Achievement Awards.
  • These individuals are being honoured for their contributions to the growth and advancement of the nonwovens industry and their invaluable support.

INDA, the association of the nonwoven fabrics industry, has announced four recipients for the Lifetime Service Award and Lifetime Technical Achievement Awards. Jan O’Regan, Seshadri Ramkumar, Jim Robinson, and Ed Thomas are being recognised for their key contributions to the growth of the nonwovens industry and INDA.

“We are pleased to recognise O’Regan, Ramkumar, Robinson, and Thomas with these well-deserved awards. INDA is grateful for their contributions in growing the nonwovens industry and being advocates for INDA,” said Tony Fragnito, INDA president. “These awards are meant to honour individuals with long-established records of service and technical achievement. All four have given their best both personally and professionally to INDA and the nonwovens industry,” Fragnito added.

“When I ponder the multitude of professionals who have dedicated their time, intelligence and wisdom to the advancement and betterment of our nonwovens industry, I am truly honored and humbled to be chosen as a Lifetime Service Award recipient for 2023. I stand on their shoulders and value the experiences and relationships that service to INDA and the nonwovens industry have brought my way. This work has been a rewarding cornerstone of my career,” O’Regan said.

O’Regan was the director, strategic initiatives and nonwovens marketing, for Cotton Incorporated and retired in 2022. In this capacity, she uncovered new opportunities for cotton to bring value into the nonwovens industry. Her work included leading efforts in strategic planning, technical and market project management, and sharing new ideas and results with the global supply chain.

Serving and volunteering with INDA for decades, O’Regan most recently chaired the World of Wipes committee, which she efficiently organised to produce innovative conferences for the wipes industry. She was a frequent speaker at INDA, INSIGHT, EDANA, and other events, and for nearly two decades was a go to source of information for cotton fibres in nonwovens and hygiene, INDA said in a press release.

“I am very humbled with the recognition and the award is an acknowledgment of over 2-decades of work carried out by many students from many countries in my laboratory. I am thrilled to note many of these students are contributing to the global nonwovens sector in leading research and marketing positions. I thank INDA, its staff, and colleagues in the industry for supporting our nonwovens research at Texas Tech University when I initiated it in 1999,” Ramkumar said.

Ramkumar has over twenty-five years of experience within the technical nonwovens space, conducting industry leading research and educating nonwovens professionals at Texas Tech University (TTU). At TTU, he established the Nonwovens Laboratory. Many of Ramkumar’s students have gone on to become technical leaders within their organisations and the nonwovens industry.

Ramkumar has numerous patent and invention disclosures, including Fibertect toxic chemical decontamination wipes which have been recognised by the American Chemical Society as a notable success of federally supported innovation, endorsed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and adopted by multiple branches of the military.

In addition to many peer-reviewed publications, articles, and columns collectively over 500, including one on nanofibres that has been cited over 2,100 times, Ramkumar has contributed his expertise on the editorial boards of multiple fibre, nonwoven, and textile journals. Ramkumar has also organised conferences for nonwovens and textiles and actively promoted INDA and its technical training offerings for over 20 years.

“I am humbled to be recognised on behalf of my industry colleagues with the honor of receiving the Lifetime Technical Achievement Award. Over my entire career I found the industry to be filled with opportunities to help people solve problems and to mutually share with them the technical understanding of our engineered products. I had fun many more days than not and, along the way, got to meet so many fine people and develop lasting, rewarding relationships,” said Robinson.

Robinson has 33 years in the absorbent hygiene industry, including 28 years as a technical service manager at BASF. He led technical teams that focused on the application of superabsorbent polymers (SAP) in hygiene products. Robinson has extensive knowledge of SAP applications, absorbent core formation, and hygiene article design, performance and testing. While with BASF, Robinson led efforts with multiple external companies to provide co-supplier solutions to hygiene converters. 

Robinson’s extensive understanding of test methods and test method development led to his coordinating the establishment of fitness for use standards of adult incontinent products with the national association for continence and involvement in development and review of absorbent product test methods with INDA/EDANA. He is also an active contributor to INDA’s technical advisory board and Hygienix organising committee and was a contributing developer in establishing the INDA Absorbent Hygiene Training Course. Robinson has provided numerous presentations at INSIGHT, Hygienix, and RISE on performance and interactions of absorbent system components.


Fibre2Fashion News Desk (RR)

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