Anil Netravali


Anil Netravali

Jean & Douglas McLean Professor in Fiber Science & Apparel Design & Director of Graduate Studies
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. At present he is the Jean and Douglas McLean Professor in Fiber Science & Apparel Design. His main research areas are Fiber Reinforced Composites and Green Materials and Processes. In composites, the primary focus of his research group is to develop sustainable and environment-friendly thermoset resins from plant-based proteins and starches and to fabricate Green Composites using a variety of reinforcements as replacements for petroleum based composites. In the past few years, his research group has developed green resins and adhesives from a variety of proteins and starches with excellent mechanical properties. These carbon-neutral ‘green’ alternatives have properties comparable to conventional petroleum-based composites and can be composted 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 and ‘Self-healing Green Composites’ that repair themselves autonomously and thus extend their working life. The second focus of his group is modification of fiber surfaces to control fiber/resin interface characteristics in composites. His research group uses 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 to fine-tune their adhesion to resins and thus to control the composite properties. A third focus of his group is to develop new green nanofibers and bacterial cellulose from food and agricultural wastes for composite, medical and filter applications.  The latest interest of his research group is in development of green processes for cotton and wool fabrics to obtain ultra-hydrophobic and anti-wrinkle properties. 


Teaching and Advising Statement:


I teach FSAD 1350, Fibers, Fabrics and Finishes, alternate years, for freshmen in the department of Fiber Science & Apparel Design. This is a required course for all FSAD students. However, 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 green and sustainable materials, conventional fiber applications and the latest innovations in the field as well as new technologies/applications of fibers.

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

I also teach FSAD 3350, Fiber Science, at the junior level. This course is designed for the students in the Fiber Science option and is also 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 to Fiber Science program. Many MSE students have done research in my group in the past few years. Several other students have worked in other FSAD faculty labs as well. Many MSE students have taken the advantage of the Fiber Science minor which was launched a few years ago.

At the graduate level, I teach FSAD 6200, Physical Properties of Fiber Forming Polymers and Fibers. It 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 and academic 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 or higher studies. I also have a large collection of interesting specimens/specimens to show in the classes I teach. Students always appreciate such 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, American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) and the American Nano Society. He is an Adjunct Professor at the Universidade Federal do Amazonas (UFAM), in 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 is an Associate Editor of AATCC Journal of Research. Additionally, 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 Conference 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:


High strength fiber reinforced, commonly known as 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 2-3 decades, their disposal at the end of their useful 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 Advanced Green Composites 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 is in the field of 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 obtain desired surface roughness to fine-tune the fiber/resin interfacial bonding. We are also able to control resin and fiber/resin interfacial properties adding nanoparticles and nanofibrils in the resin.

Our group has been involved in producing randomly oriented and aligned bacterial cellulose (BC) nanofibers using food and agricultural wastes for applications in medicine, filtration as well as green composites.


Our group is also developing new environment-friendly ‘green’ processes for ultra-hydrophobic 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 aligned bacterial nanocellulose and other ‘green’ nanofibers for high strength composites and ultrafiltration

4. Development of ‘green’ processes for anti-wrinkle and ultra-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 Cornell groups and visitors and others in the state of NY as well as worldwide on my research in Environment-Friendly Green Materials and their applications.

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

- I also present lecture on ‘Green Materials 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

MSE4900- Independent Reading and Research

Related Websites:

Administrative Responsibilities:


Member, Graduate admission committee for the field of Textiles

Chair, Search Committee, Fiber Sc ience Faculty, 2016

Director of Graduate Studies, Field of Textiles

Member, Graduate Admissions Committee, FSAD

Member, Ad hoc committee, Faculty tenure & promotion, AAP

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, Lancaster, PA, 2014.


Kim, J. R. and Netravali, A. N., ‘Self-Healing Properties of Protein Resin with Soy Protein Isolate-Loaded Poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) Microcapsules’, Advanced Functional Materials, 26, pp. 4786-4796, 2016. DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201600465


Rahman, M. M., Netravali, A. N.,Oriented Bacterial Cellulose-Soy Protein based Fully ‘Green’ Nanocomposites’, Composites Science & Technology, 136, pp. 85-93, 2016. DOI: org/10.1016/j.compscitech.2016.10.003


Patil, N. V. and Netravali, A. N., ‘Microfibrillated Cellulose reinforced Non-Edible Starch-based Thermoset Biocomposites’, Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 133, pp. 1-12, 2016. DOI: 10.1002/app.43803


Amirkhani, Masoume, Netravali, Anil N., Wencheng Huang, and Taylor, Alan, Seed coating containing soy flour as a plant-derived biostimulant to enhance broccoli seedling and plant growth, HortScience, 51(9), pp. 1121-1126, 2016.  DOI: 10.21273/HORTSCI10913-16


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


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, Anti-wrinkle cotton, Anti-wrinkle wool

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