Texas Tech University

Noureddine Abidi advances as Davis College Associate Dean for Research

Norman Martin

December 14, 2023

Noureddine Abidi, Texas Tech's Leidigh Professor in the Department of Plant & Soil Science and Managing Director of the university's Fiber & Biopolymer Research Institute, has been appointed the university's Davis College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources Associate Dean for Research, officials announced today (Dec. 13). He will step into his new administrative role on Jan. 1.

“I am excited to step into a new role as the Associate Dean for Research and continue serving Davis College and Texas Tech University,” Abidi said.  “I am looking forward to working with the university leadership team and faculty, students, and staff to foster the development of transdisciplinary research programs.” 

Davis College Dean Clint Krehbiel noted that in his new position, Abidi will provide leadership for and oversight of research and innovation in addition to facilitating advancement of the Davis College research mission by ensuring the relevance, quality, and impact of our efforts to meet future needs for the food, feed, fiber, natural resources and landscape industries.

“Dr. Abidi brings a wealth of leadership experience as well as a decorated research career to his new role,” he said. “I am looking forward to Dr. Abidi's visionary leadership as we continue to grow and strive for excellence in the research mission for Davis College.”

In the past Abidi's research has focused on the creation of antimicrobial textiles, self-cleaned textiles, physicochemical characterization of pollen shells, cell wall development in cotton fibers, and the transformation of cellulose to bioproducts. Abidi has published 137 peer-review publications, 11 were published in 2023. He has also generated three approved patents and nine pending patents. Since joining Texas Tech in 1999, Abidi has generated more than $19.5 million of research dollars.

In 2017, Abidi was named managing director of the Texas Tech Fiber and Biopolymer Research Institute. The facility is equipped and staffed to conduct both basic and applied research and development activities ranging from small-scale testing to large-scale manufacturing. A fundamental objective of the facility is to foster greater use of natural fibers. Activities revolve around researching, testing, and evaluating natural fibers, production and evaluation of yarns, development of bioproducts from cotton cellulose byproducts and other biomass, and cotton cell wall chemistry.

Located some six miles east of the main campus, the FBRI occupies 110,000 square-feet of space allowing researchers to conduct testing and evaluation from the raw fiber stage through the finished textile product. Facilities include a multimedia classroom, conference room, biopolymer research laboratory, phenomics laboratory, short staple spinning laboratory, and ginning laboratory.

Recent honors include the President's Innovation Starup Award (2023); Accelerator Fund Award (2023); TTU Innovation Hub at Research Park Prototype Fund Award (2022); President's Excellence in Commercialization Award (2021), and the Discover Natural Fibres Initiative Innovation Award (2020) for his work and the patent received for his discovery of changing low-grade cotton to a cellulose gel that can be used in a wide variety of ways. Earlier this year Abidi was ranked among the world's top 2% of scientists in 2023, according to the Scientist's List by Stanford University, which recently published an annual list of most widely cited scientists in various disciplines.

Abidi received his bachelor's and master's degrees in chemistry from the University of Med I, Faculty of Sciences Oujda (Morocco); and his doctorate in theoretical, physical, and analytical chemistry from the University of Montpellier II (France). He was awarded the H.D.R. (Habilitation à Diriger les Recherches), a French diploma required to be full professor in French universities, in engineering science from the University of Haute Alsace, Mulhouse (France) in 2007 and a PhD. in chemistry from the University of Montpellier, France.


This story was first published in the Davis College NewsCenter. See the original article here.