INVITED SPEAKERS

Dr Kai Yang is an Associate Professor in Textile Design and Innovation. She is the Head of Research in Fashion and Textiles, Winchester School of Art, the University of Southampton. Her research interests are electronic textiles, wearable healthcare, and sustainable textiles. She has been PI on £3.5M e-textile healthcare projects (e.g. EPSRC Fellowship; two MRC DPFS). She is the co-founder of Smart Fabric Inks, founder of Etexsense, and co-chair of the E-textiles Network. She received her BSc in Material Engineering from Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology, China, in 2004; and PhD in Chemistry from the University of Leeds in 2009.
Dr. Wei Yan is a Nanyang Assistant Professor at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. Prior to his appointment at NTU, he was a postdoc at MIT and a Scientist at EPFL, Switzerland. He holds a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from EPFL.
His research interests focus on next-generation human-interfaced flexible and soft fiber electronics for healthcare, energy, neuroscience, robotics and textiles. He has published many articles in high-profile journals, such as Nature and Nature Nanotechnology.
Prof. Yan has received many awards, such as finalist of the Falling Walls Science Breakthroughs in Engineering and Technology (2022), 1st Place, NASA Tech Briefs Design Competition (Aerospace/Defense Category) 2022, Professor René Wasserman Award (2019) and IEEE Best Young Scientist Award (2021).
Professor Veronika Kapsali
Veronika is Professor of Materials Technology and Design at the London College of Fashion at University of the Arts London, where she set up and leads the Active Materials Research Lab. Veronika was named ITMA Future Materials INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR in 2014 and awarded AHRC Leadership Fellow in Bio-informed Textiles in 2020. In the last 5 years she has attracted over £1 million in funding (UKRI/AHRC, Innovate UK, H2020, industry).
Veronika draws on her academic and industrial research to underpin a range of research and knowledge exchange activities on topics that intersect biology, materials science, and textiles. She is the chair the IoM3 Smart Materials and Systems Group and has written educational films on biomimetic design for BBC Learning. Her monograph Biomimetics for Designers is in its second edition and has been translated into French and Mandarin. 
Dr Elif Ozden Yenigun is a material scientist interested in nanoengineered textiles, smart wearables, and novel 3D textile composites. Her research focuses on developing cutting-edge textile-based materials, that enable the design of more novel and innovative engineered soft systems, surfaces and products. Her research philosophy rests on the idea of facilitating and co-creating “inter/trans-disciplinary” domains through the transaction of scientific knowledge into different disciplines and diverse communities. She has been active in multi-disciplinary research in the last 14 years and involved in various roles to support learning in higher education, and engaged with the industry and creative sectors. She has contributed to secure £1.5M funding from research councils, and several industrial partners and consistently contributed to numerous high-quality and impactful research papers in journal articles and peer-reviewed conference proceedings.
Dr Muhammad Tausif is Associate Professor in Sustainable Textile Manufacturing and Deputy Head of School of Design at the University of Leeds, UK. He completed BSc Textile Engineering (with specialisation in Yarn Manufacturing) from National Textile University, Pakistan and PhD in advanced characterisation of complex fibrous assemblies. He is a Fellow of the Textile Institute (CTextFTI). He has attracted funding from research councils and industry, and currently hold a grant portfolio of over £1 million. His key research interests are various aspects of textile science and technology including sustainable fibres, yarn manufacturing, structure-property modelling of fibrous assemblies, development of sustainable and eco-friendly textile structures, and microfiber pollution from textiles and its mitigation.
Dr Shayan Seyedin is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Digital Materials Manufacturing at Newcastle University. He previously worked at the Molecular Sciences Research Hub, Imperial College London. He was awarded a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Wollongong in 2014. In 2017, he received the Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for his research at the Institute for Frontier Materials, Deakin University. He was then awarded the Endeavour Research Fellowship to work at the A.J. Drexel Nanomaterials Institute, Drexel University. His research made pioneering advances in processing 2D materials like graphene and MXenes into neat, hybrid, and composite structures such as films, fibres, yarns, and textiles that could store energy or sense strain, pressure, or touch.
Dr Hughes-Riley is an Associate Professor in Electronic Textiles in the Advanced Textiles Research Group at Nottingham Trent University (UK). He leads the electronic textiles research activity within the group, which focusses on the development and application of electronic yarns. Dr Hughes-Riley has a growing reputation in the field, having given 14 invited talks on E-textiles. He has secured over £2M of funding for E-textiles research and has authored over 50 publications, including over 30 peer-reviewed journal articles, primarily in the fields of E-textiles and sensors.
My research is driven by my vision to apply nanotechnology concepts to polymer engineering with the goal to obtain a complete, fundamental understanding of the underlying polymer physics but also to provide polymers with a host of new functionalities. Consequently, my research focuses on processing and characterization of advanced, multifunctional (nano)composites based on 2D materials such as graphene and MXenes, 1D materials such as CNTs and advanced fiber reinforcements. I have also researched extensively into the micromechanics of polymer nanocomposites. The micromechanical models that I developed over the last years have played a major role towards the optimization of the reinforcing efficiency of fillers within polymers, the understanding of the crack propagation mechanisms and the study of the filler-matrix interface.
Having trained as a fashion designer, Sinha is interested in the links between design and the marketplace. A research field trip to Dar es Salaam in 2008 highlighted the impacts of the mix of ultra cheap second hand fashion, cheap on trend new fashion imports and high priced local designer’s outputs. Research interests are: design management strategies, remanufactured fashion design process, postconsumer textile waste management and heritage crafts. Her recent research projects include (i) engaging the Leeds City Region public in understanding textile waste management, working with Leeds City Council and Zero Waste Leeds (CiC) and (ii) examining postconsumer textile waste in Sri Lanka, working with the University of Moratuwa, a garment manufacturer, a social enterprise, within the Colombo region.
Dr Kirsi Niinimäki
Kirsi Niinimäki is Associate Professor in Design, especially Fashion Research, and the leader of the Fashion/Textiles Futures research group In Aalto University, Finland. Throughout her research, Niinimäki aims towards a new, holistic understanding in the field of sustainable fashion and textiles and therefore, her focus is on the connection between design, manufacturing systems, business models and consumption habits. Circular economy, strategic design, new design practices and multidisciplinary collaboration are the base for her scientific knowledge building. Niinimäki is a leading Scholar in sustainable fashion, and she has published widely in top scientific journals. Her latest books are e.g. Sustainable Fashion and Textile Management/Routledge and Sustainable Fashion in a Circular Economy/Aalto ARTS Books.
Gwen Cunningham
Gwen Cunningham was born in Ireland and trained as an apparel designer in her hometown of Dublin. She leads Circle Economy’s Textiles Programme and is the Circularity Lead at the National College of Art and Design, Ireland. In both roles, her focus is on the design and execution of cutting edge initiatives focused on increasing the circularity acumen of brands, educators and students. Gwen’s passion lies in developing new knowledge, tools and processes that can successfully guide organisations and individuals in transforming circular intent to action.
The Circle Textiles Program was launched in 2014 as the first sector programme within Circle Economy. Since founding, its singular mission is to achieve a zero waste textiles industry, through the practical implementation of circular solutions, together with our network of brands and solution providers.
Natalie Wilson

Natalie Wilson

Natalie is a passionate and respected technical expert in the industry, receiving multiple industry awards for her approach to quality, innovation & sustainability. Natalie has worked to help improve the industry's approach to sustainability and ethical working practices by making them commonplace, not the exception, since 2016. This is reflected in her appointment to several Industry Boards and committees since 2018.
In particular, Natalie has a passion for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - designing innovative and inclusive ranges, ensuring only fully conforming and fit-for-purpose PPE is provided to those it is designed to protect. She also supports SME businesses to implement process improvements; offers specialist training in PPE standards, as well as PPE design, certification, and advisory services.  
Dr Mayank Gautam

Versarien

Dr Mayank Gautam, completed his undergraduate studies in 2012 in Textile Sciences from University of Manchester, followed by a PhD in Material Sciences. Following his PhD, Mayank worked as a Postdoctoral researcher at University of Manchester for 3 years before moving to industry and joining Composite Braiding Ltd. (UK) as a Design & Technology Engineer. After a year working on Thermoplastic Composites, he joined the technical team of 2-DTech Ltd. (a subsidiary of Versarien) as a Senior Scientist and entered the world of nanomaterials. His current focus is the application of 2D materials in textiles applications and polymer-composite materials.