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Deakin University alumnus bags innovation award for wool insulator material


Maryam Naebe from the Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM), Deakin University, Australia has been awarded the 2021 Discover Natural Fibers Initiative Innovation Award alongwith her team. As per an IWTO report, Dr Naebe was awarded for creating a special light-weight nonwoven textile fabric from a blend of virgin and waste wool fibers to use as an insulator in automobiles.

Most insulators currently used in automotive applications are made from petroleum-based polyester, polyethylene, and polystyrene molecules, but leading car manufacturers are moving towards replacing interior materials with lighter-weight and biodegradable natural fiber options.

The wool insulator material qualifies for Reuse-Recycle and Reuse–Recover purposes at the end-of-life of vehicles. Dr Naebe is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the IFM, Deakin University in Australia. She received her Ph.D. from the university in 2009 in materials science, and has since then worked in the area of fiber science and functional materials. Her research focuses on sustainability-inspired innovation using waste materials and adding value to natural fibers and biomass for sustainable industrial applications.