Anil Netravali


Anil Netravali

Jean & Douglas McLean Professor in Fiber Science & Apparel Design
233 Human Ecology Building (HEB)
Phone: (607) 255-1875 Fax: (607) 255-1093
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Curriculum Vitae
Biographical Statement:



After obtaining Ph.D. from North Carolina State University in 1984 Dr. Netravali joined the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Cornell University as a postdoctoral associate. In 1985 he joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering as a research associate and in August of 1987 he joined the Department of Fiber Science & Apparel Design as an assistant professor of Fiber Science. Currently he is the Jean and Douglas McLean Professor in Fiber Science & Apparel Design. His main research is in the field of Fiber Reinforced Composites and Green Materials and Processes. Within the composites area the primary focus of his group has been to develop sustainable and environment-friendly resins from plant-based proteins and starches and reinforcing them using plant-based fibers to fabricate Green Composites for a variety of applications. In the past few years, his research group has developed green resins and adhesives from a variety of proteins and starches that have excellent mechanical properties. These carbon-neutral alternatives for the conventional petroleum-based composites are fully compostable at the end of their life. His group has also made ‘Advanced Green Composites’ with high strength and toughness that may be used in structural and ballistic applications. The second focus of his group is modification of fiber surfaces to control fiber/resin interface characteristics in composites. His research group has used many techniques including polymerizing and non-polymerizing plasmas, pulsed excimer laser, high power ion beam, solvent treatments, etc., to modify fiber surface chemistry and topography and controlling their adhesion to resins and thus the mechanical properties of composites. A third focus of his group is to develop new green nanofibers from proteins and starches for a variety of applications including high efficiency filtration and bacterial nanocellulose from food and agricultural waste for composites and medical applications.  His research group is also involved in development of green processes for ultrahydrophobic and anti-wrinkle cotton and wool fabrics.

Teaching and Advising Statement:


I teach FSAD 1350, Fibers, Fabrics and Finishes, alternate years, for freshmen in the department of Fiber Science & Apparel Design. While this is a required course for all FSAD students, students from other departments within the College of Human Ecology as well as other colleges across the campus and outside Cornell (Ithaca College) take the course to fulfill their science requirements. The course introduces the students to various natural and synthetic fibers, production and properties of yarns and fabrics as well as dyeing and finishing of fabrics. Teaching this course is always a challenge because of the diverse interests and backgrounds of the students. I teach students both conventional and new materials, including the green and sustainable materials, conventional fiber applications, latest innovations in the field and new technologies/applications of fibers.

FSAD 1360, Fiber and Yarn Analysis Laboratory, consists of several lab sessions in which students learn techniques to identify and characterize fibers and yarns. This course is restricted to FSAD students only and gives them hands on experience. I teach this course every other year, together with FSAD 1350.

I also teach FSAD 3350, Fiber Science, at the undergraduate level and FSAD 6200, Physical Properties of Fiber Forming Polymers and Fibers, at the graduate level. FSAD 3350 is designed for our students in the Fiber Science option and is a recommended elective for Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (CBE). However, students from other colleges as well as other departments in CHE have also taken this course. FSAD 3350 also has lab sections for characterizing various fiber properties. This course has been useful in attracting MSE students in Fiber Science program. Many MSE students have done research in my group in the past few years. Several other students have worked in other faculty labs as well. A few years ago we also launched Fiber Science minor.

Since Spring 2014 I have taught FSAD 3320, Product Quality Assessment to FSAD students.  This course discusses quality of textile products from fibers to apparel and methods to assess the quality using statistical and qualitative methods.  The course is meant for FSAD junior students.

FSAD 6200 is a theoretical course that discusses properties of polymers and relationship between fiber structure, fiber chemistry and their physical properties. Thermal, mechanical and other properties of fibers and methods of characterizing them are also discussed. While this course is meant for graduate students in FSAD, students from other colleges, particularly engineering, also take it.

Ongoing teaching goals are to refine and strengthen course contents for all three courses while incorporating the latest research into FSAD 6200 and FSAD 3350. When possible, I also invite industrial guest lecturers to give students the opportunity to get the industrial perspective. Many times the guest speakers also serve as future contacts for students during their job searches. I also collect and have a large collection of interesting specimens to show in all classes I teach. Students always appreciate the real life examples in the class as it helps connect the theory to the real life situations.


Current Professional Activities:

Dr. Netravali is a member of the American Chemical Society, the Fiber Society and the American Nano Society. He is an Adjunct Professor at the Universidade Federal do Amazonas (UFAM), Manaus, Brazil, and in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering at Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL.  He is also a member of the Engineering Panel of the Research Grants Council (RGC) of Hong Kong.  He serves on the Editorial Advisory Boards of seven research journals; Composites Science and Technology (CST), Journal of Biobased Materials and Bioenergy (JBMBE), Journal of Renewable Materials (JRM), Reviews of Adhesion and Adhesives (RAA), Journal of Engineered Fibers and Fabrics (JEFF), Fibers and Textile Research Journal (TRJ). He is a founding member and a member of the Advisory Committee of the International Workshop on Green Composites, a member of the International Scientific Committee for the Amazonic Green Materials and Processes Meetings as well as a member of the Scientific Committee.  He is a Faculty Fellow at the David R. Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future at Cornell University.

Current Research Activities:

Fiber reinforced ‘advanced composites’ are being increasingly used to replace metals in applications such as aerospace and automobiles because of their high mechanical properties and much lower density. Most high strength fibers and resins used in ‘advanced composites’ are based on petroleum feedstock, a non-renewable resource, that is expected to last only a few decades at the current rate of consumption. Further, these composites do not degrade in natural environment. With high production growth due to expanding applications of composites in the past few decades, their disposal at the end of their intended life has become difficult as well as expensive. Composites, made by bonding two dissimilar materials, are difficult to be recycled or reused. While only a small fraction of the composite waste is ground into powder for use as low grade filler or incinerated to recover energy, most (over 90%) of the composites end up in landfills. Major part of the research in my group is directed towards creating fully sustainable and environment-friendly ‘green’ resins and composites using yearly renewable plant based polymers such as proteins and starches and fibers that are considered carbon neutral. At the end of their life green composites can be easily composted to create organic soil which can help grow more plants. Green composites based on plant based proteins or starches and fibers developed by our group are suitable for use in packaging, housing or transportation panels, furniture, board sports and secondary structural applications. We have also developed high strength Advanced Green Composites made using liquid crystalline cellulose fibers that have toughness comparable to aramid fiber based composites. These advanced green composites may be used as primary structural elements and even for some ballistic applications.

Second part of our research in the field of composites involves conventional Advanced Composites made using high strength fibers such as graphite, aramids and ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) that are used in a wide range of applications from aerospace to sports gear and from automobile body parts to civil structures. Critical mechanical properties of composites such as toughness and longitudinal and transverse strength are controlled by fiber/resin interfacial bonding. My research group is involved in modifying fiber surface topography and chemistry to control their adhesion to different resins. We have used many techniques including polymerizing and non-polymerizing plasmas, pulsed excimer laser, high power ion beam, solvent treatments and their combinations to obtain desired chemical groups on the fiber surface and modify surface roughness to control the fiber/resin interfacial bonding. We are also working to control resin and fiber/resin interfacial properties using nanoparticles and nanofibrils in resin or fiber surfaces.

Our group has been involved in creating green nanofibers such as electrospun plant proteins and starches as well as nano- and micro-fibrillated cellulose fibers for high efficiency filters as well as other applications including composites.  In addition, we also produce bacterial cellulose (BC) nanofibers using food and agricultural wastes for use in applications in medicine and composites.


Our group is also developing new environment-friendly ‘green’ processes for ultrahydrophobic and anti-wrinkle cotton and wool fibers.

Current research projects

1. Development of fully biodegradable, environment-friendly ‘green’ composites and nanocomposites using plant based fibers and resins
2. Surface modification of high strength fibers to control their adhesion to various resins
3. Development of bacterial nanocellulose and other ‘green’ nanofibers for high strength composites and ultrafiltration

4. Development of ‘green’ processes for anti-wrinkle and hydrophobic cotton and wool fabrics

5. Development of ‘green’ seed coatings


Current Public Engagement Activities:

- I am a member of the Cornell Center for Materials Research (CCMR) and have worked through the center on some of their outreach activities.


- I am a Faculty Fellow at the Atkinson Center for Sustainable Future (ACSF) and participate in the center activities.


- I have made several presentations to different groups at Cornell and in the state of NY as well as worldwide on my research in Environment-Friendly Green Materials and their applications.


-I am a member of the Obama-Singh Initiative (OSI) project through College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) to help Indian Universities improve their research.


- I also present lecture on ‘Green Composites and Processes’ to the visiting business leaders and educators through the Agribusiness Management Program (CALS) on using agricultural and food wastes into value added products.  This has opened up possibilities for collaborations with industries or licensing of Cornell technologies.


  • Ph.D. - North Carolina State University, Fiber and Polymer Science
  • M.S. - North Carolina State University, Fiber and Polymer Science
  • M.S. - University of Bombay, Textiles
  • B.S. - University of Bombay, Textiles

Courses Taught:

    FSAD 1350 - Fibers, Fabrics and Finishes

    FSAD 1360 - Fiber and Yarn Analysis Lab

    FSAD 3320 - Product Quality Assessment

    FSAD 3350 - Fiber Science

    FSAD 4010 - Empirical Research

    FSAD 4020 - Supervised Fieldwork

    FSAD 4990 - Undergraduate Research

    FSAD 6200 - Physical Properties of Fibers and Fiber Forming Polymers

    FSAD 8990 - MS Research

    FSAD 9990 - PhD Research

      Related Websites:

      Administrative Responsibilities:

      Member, Diversity Committee, S-2015

      Chair, Search Committee, Fiber Sc ience Faculty, 2015

      Member, Graduate Admissions Committee, FSAD

      Member, Faculty Advisory Committee, CCMR

      Acting Chair - several times

      Faculty Advisor, Cornell Badminton Club


      Selected Publications:

      Sustainable Composites: Fibers, Resins and Applications, Netravali, A. N. and Pastore, C., (Eds.), DESTech Publications, September, 2014.


      Kalita, D. and Netravali, A. N., Interfaces in Green Composites, Reviews of Adhesion and Adhesives, 3 (4), pp. 386-443, 2015.   DOI: 10.7569/RAA.2015.097311


      Hoiby, J. and Netravali, A. N.  Can we build with plants? Cabin Construction with Green Composites, Journal of Renewable Materials, 3 (3), pp. 244-258, 2015.  DOI:10.7569/JRM.2015.634110


      Lubasova, D., Netravali, A. N. and Mullerova, J., Water Resistant Plant Protein-based Nanofiber Membranes, J. Appl. Polym. Sci., DOI: 10.1002/app.41852


      Ghosh Dastidar, T. and Netravali, A. N., Novel Thermosetting Resin from Soy Flour Crosslinked using Green Technology, Green Chemistry, 15 (11), pp. 3243-3251, 2013.


      Kim, J. T. and Netravali, A. N., Fabrication of Advanced ‘Green’ Composites using Potassium Hydroxide (KOH) Treated Liquid Crystalline (LC) Cellulose Fibers, J. Materials Science, 48, pp. 3950-3957, 2013.


      Nakamura, R. and Netravali, A. N., Morgan, A. B., Nyden, M. R., and Gilman, J. W., Effect of Halloysite Nanotubes on Mechanical Properties and Flammability of Soy Protein based Green Composites, Fire and Materials, 90, pp. 75–90, 2013.


      Qiu, K. and Netravali, A. N., Bacterial Cellulose based Membrane-like Biodegradable ‘Green’ Composites using Cross-linked and Noncross-linked PVA Resin, J. Materials Science, 47, pp. 6066-6075, 2012.


      Bhat, N. V., Netravali, A. N., Gore, A. V., Sathianarayanan, M. P., Arolkar, G. A. and Deshmukh, R. R., Surface Modification of Cotton Fabrics Using Plasma Technology, Textile Research Journal, 81, pp. 1014-1026, 2011.

      Selected Keywords:
      Green composites, Green materials, Composites, Advanced composites, Resins, Bioresins, Biocomposites, Nanofibers, Green nanofibers, Sustainable materials, Fiber/resin interface, Agricultural waste utilization, Green Processes, Textile/Apparel Recycling

      The information on this bio page is taken from the CHE Annual Report.