4D-Textiles – „The next Generation on Textile“ in collaboration with Professor Christopher M. Pastore
Professor Dr. Christopher M. Pastore from Philadelphia, USA, is currently working as a guest researcher at the “Institut für Textiltechnik of RWTH Aachen University” (ITA). From May 19 until August 11, 2017, he is working together with professor Thomas Gries from ITA on the theme of “The next Generation on Textile” within the scope of the CoE research. Recently the ITA was honored with the RWTH Innovation Award for its work in the area of 4D-textiles. Together with Prof. Pastore the ITA extends the research area of “Integrated Technologies” by adding the theme “Textile”. At his home university in Philadelphia, the American researcher lectures as a professor of Transdisciplinary Studies. Previously he worked as an Associate Professor of Textile Materials Science at North Carolina State University. Before he is going to attend to his next project as a Fulbright Specialist at Durban University, he told us about his stay in Aachen.
What is the most fascinating thing about working as a Professor at Philadelphia University?
It might be fascinating that I truly look forward to going to work each day. I very much enjoy interactions with the students at Philadelphia University. Our students bring an enthusiasm and joy of learning that makes each day pleasant.
What induced you to come to RWTH Aachen?
I have known about the ITA for many years – the textile world is quite cozy. I have spoken with Prof. Thomas Gries on several occasions about working together, and this year everything aligned.
In which research project linked to the Cluster of Excellence (CoE) are you involved in?
We are working on the next generation of textiles, using additive manufacturing technologies to functionalize textiles in a previously unknown way – fully in the focus of XCluster. We are combining the flexibility and elasticity of textile materials with rigid polymer structures to create systems that transform from two-dimensional structures into complex three-dimensional structures. We are exploring innovative material combinations, novel geometric structures as seeking new applications for these “4D-textiles.”
What excites you about this project?
As additive manufacturing scales to a cost-effective, large scale process, we are exploring a new opportunity to make structures that were impractical and/or unforeseen just a year ago. The potential of these 4D-textiles is tremendous, and I am excited to be here at the cutting edge of the technological break-through.
What is the biggest difference between your work at your university at home and your work here in Aachen?
While here in Aachen, I can focus all of my time on research, whereas at home I spend most of my time in the classroom, teaching.
What do you like most about Germany or Aachen in particular?
I truly like the weather here! And the city of Aachen is very walkable and pleasant to explore. I am having a lovely time just walking throughout the city, seeing the sights, shops, and people.
Do you remember a special moment during your time in Aachen (at work or in your free time) or an unforgettable incident?
I cannot identify a single incident that meets this criteria. However, I want to reinforce the idea that I have had a wonderful time here in Aachen. Every person I have met has been very nice and helpful. Even though I am a visitor, I am made to feel welcome.
What are your future plans?
I will be serving as a Fulbright Specialist at Durban University of Technology immediately after my stay at Aachen University, and then back to Philadelphia University to resume teaching and research.
Thank you for taking your time!
You are welcome.