Prof. Yoel Fink
MIT Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Joint Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Professor Fink joined MIT’s faculty in 2000 and has focused his research on creating highly functional fibres. He is the recipient of multiple awards, among them the National Academies Initiatives in Research (2004), the MacVicar Fellowship (2007) for outstanding teaching and the Collier Medal (2016). Professor Fink is a co-founder of OmniGuide Inc. (2000) and served as its chief executive officer from 2007–2010. He is the co-author of over 100 scientific journal articles and holds over fifty issued U.S. patents on multimaterial fibres and devices. Prof. Fink serves as the CEO of Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA), a $300M non-profit Institute headquartered near the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), backed by the Department of Defence, State of Massachusetts and 120 companies and universities. AFFOA’s mission enables a manufacturing-based revolution—the transformation of traditional fibres, yarns, and textiles into highly sophisticated integrated and networked devices and systems. These advancements will help transform the textile industry from a low-tech, low-wage, offshore industry to a high-tech, value-added, innovation-driven domestic manufacturing ecosystem.
Our clothes help define us, yet the fabrics we wear haven’t evolved much over much of human history. Recent breakthroughs in fibre material and fabric processing allow us to design and produce fibres and fabrics that see, hear, sense, communicate, store and convert energy, regulate temperature, monitor health, and change colour. The basis for these new fabric capabilities are fibres that contain semiconductor devices have made it into the fibres themselves, setting the stage for a “Moore’s law” in fibres. The new fibre materials enable visually inconspicuous yet highly functional capabilities in fabrics. In this talk I will present and discuss recent research advances in this field.