The Fiber Science Program focuses on the study of fibrous materials and their use in a variety of conventional and non-conventional applications. Students become expert researchers in such areas as high-performance fibers and fiber-reinforced composites, detergency and surface chemistry, textile materials in geotechnical and biomedical applications, polymers for electronics, and textile dye chemistry.
With the help of a Special Committee, each student in the field plans an individualized course of study linking his or her background and interests with the extensive educational resources of Cornell University. Core courses include:
FSAD 6160: Rheology of Solids: Dynamic Mechanical Analysis of Fibers & Polymers
FSAD 6200: Physical Properties of Fiber Forming Polymers and Fibers
FSAD 6260: Chemistry of Finishing and Dyeing
FSAD 6390: Properties of Fibrous Systems
FSAD 6660: Fiber Formation Theory and Practice
A written thesis is required for completion of all graduate degrees in Fiber Science & Apparel Design. Candidates for the PhD require at least three years of full-time study beyond the master's degree. Candidates for the MS usually complete their degree requirements within two years.
Two minor areas of study are required of PhD students and one minor area is required of MS students. Often students select minors in the physical sciences, engineering, economics, marketing, computer science, communication, or other fields within the Graduate School. Students may select minors depending on their previous specializations; educational preparation in textiles, or polymer science, and/or apparel; mathematics, chemistry, physics, or economics.
The current research areas of faculty members include surface modification of high-performance fibers for composites, novel techniques for fiber and polymer morphology studies, protective clothing for agricultural, industrial, and medical workers, electrostatic technique for fiber spinning, fully degradable "green" composites, reinforcement of cement concrete by fibers, synthesis of biologically active biodegradable fibers, role of free radicals in degradation of biodegradable fibers, novel chemical synthesis of degradable polymers, and fibers for tissue engineering and regeneration. In addition to the faculty from FSAD, fiber science is actively pursued by faculty from various departments, including chemical engineering, chemistry, civil engineering, materials science and engineering, and theoretical and applied mechanics.