Department of Plant & Soil Science hosts Moroccan Fulbright Scholar Salghi
Texas Tech's Department of Plant and Soil Science is hosting a Fulbright Scholar from Morocco this summer. Rachid Salghi, a professor from the University Ibn Zohr Agadir-Morocco, is focusing his research here at Tech on preparation of bio-based materials from biopolymers.
Salghi is working closely with Noureddine Abidi, an associate professor with Tech's Department of Plant and Soil Science, primarily at Tech's Fiber and Biopolymer Research Institute. Tech's 110,000 square foot FBRI is equipped and staffed to conduct research and development activities ranging from small-scale testing through large-scale manufacturing. Located six miles east of the main campus, its fundamental objective is to foster greater use of the natural fibers and increase textile manufacturing in Texas.
Separately, Maria Hountondji, an undergraduate student intern from the University of Paris XIII, is spending the summer at Tech's Department of Plant and Soil Science learning a new technique for the characterization of biological tissues. The method is based on the use of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) imaging to establish the distribution of functional groups in the tissue. By studying the infrared (IR) images of tissues, information such as protein distribution, transformation, and fat accumulation can be obtained.
Early this year, Abidi himself received a Fulbright Grant from the Council for International Exchange of Scholars. He will spend five months at Belgium's Ghent University focusing on teaching and research. While in Belgium, Abidi plans to play an active role in training and education of students and engineers in the area of biopolymers and textile chemistry, surface modification, and transformation of biopolymers to bioproducts. In addition, he hopes this opportunity will foster more transatlantic research collaboration between Ghent University and Texas Tech. His project begins in January of 2016.
Abidi, who also holds the position of associate director of Tech's Fiber and Biopolymer Research Institute, is on a Tech research team that was recently awarded more than $470,000 in funding by the Wal-Mart Foundation. The study, titled "Foam Indigo Dyeing of Cotton Yarns: Machine Design and Process Control," is aimed at reducing the amount of water, contaminants, time, labor, floor space and expense needed to apply indigo dye to denim yarns.
Written by Norman Martin
CONTACT: Eric Hequet, Department Chair, Department of Plant and Soil Science, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2838 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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