Dr. Keith R. Beck

Professor Emeritus, TECS

Email : kbeck@ncsu.edu
Phone : 919-832-6087
Address : College of Textiles - Room 3250

Dr. Keith R. Beck post image


After teaching organic, advanced organic, and qualitative organic analysis at Elmhurst College for seven years, Dr. Beck accepted a position to teach and do research in textile chemistry at Purdue University. He and his family moved to North Carolina State University nine years later to continue teaching and research activities in textile chemistry. Dr. Beck has been married to Beverly, a substitute physical education teacher and volleyball referee, for 43 years. Together they enjoy their children, Brady (a wildlife biologist and photographer), Kelli (a biochemist), and Kerri (a graduate in textile engineering at NCSU) & her husband Scott (an F-15 pilot in the Air Force), and their four grandsons Hayden and Weston (from Kelli) and Carter and Grant (from Kerri and Scott). For relaxation, Dr. Beck enjoys woodworking, growing roses, music, photography and driving his Corvette.
From March 1998 through June 2008, Dr. Beck was Head of the Textile Engineering, Chemistry and Science Department at NCSU.  He is a member of the NCSU Academy of Outstanding Teachers and the recipient of the 2006 Olney Medal, which is awarded by the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists for outstanding achievement in the field of Textile Chemistry.

Recent honors include:

2013     Distinguished Alumni Award, Adrian College

2013     NCSU Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor, one of six selected by the university

2013     Top 20 Science & Technology Professors in North Carolina by Online School North Carolina htt(p://onlineschoolsnorthcarolina.com/top-college-professors-in-north-carolina/science-technology/)

2012     Co-Recipient of J. W. Weaver Award for Paper of the Year in AATCC Review

Dr. Beck now is enjoying retirement


Early research interests at Purdue University focused on synthetic and analytical (HPLC, GC/MS, 1H- and 13C-NMR) aspects of durable press (DP) finishes. Those techniques were used to characterize the composition and behavior of these crosslinking agents for cellulose. A method for stripping DP agents from finished fabrics was developed and used to study the effects of DP catalysts on cellulose mol. weight.

At NCSU, research has emphasized dyebath monitoring, textile applications of near-infrared spectroscopy, and the use of liquid and supercritical CO2 for textile cleaning, dyeing, and analysis. Two different real-time dyebath monitoring systems have been developed. A direct dyebath monitoring system determines bath pH, conductivity, temperature, and individual dye concentrations every 13 seconds in a laboratory dyeing machine. This research system has been used to study exhaustion of reactive, direct, basic and acid dyes. To monitor exhaustion of water-soluble dyes, disperse dyes and indigo, a flow injection analysis (FIA) system has been developed and used on several different laboratory dyeing machines. FIA has also been coupled with HPLC to allow real-time determination of both reactive dye exhaustion and hydrolysis. A portable version of this system has been assembled and used to monitor dyeings on a pilot-scale jet dyeing machine. To further develop this technology, a spin-off company, HueMetrix, was formed in 2003.

A large library of near-infrared spectra of fibers has been generated and used to identify fibers in less than one minute.

A supercritical fluid extraction method for determining the solvent-soluble materials on cotton fibers, yarns and fabrics was developed. This method gave results very similar to the standard Soxhlet extraction with 1,1,1-trichloroethane.

Current work is focused on improving the analysis of dyes by HPLC and Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry for forensic purposes.

Academic Degrees

B.S. Chemistry with Honors, Adrian College, Adrian, MI, 1965
Ph.D. Chemistry, Purdue University, W. Lafayette, IN, August 1970


PCC 104 – Introduction to Polymer and Color Chemistry Laboratory

PCC 301 -Technology of Dyeing and Finishing

PCC 304 – Technology of Dyeing and Finishing Lab

PCC 412 – Textile Chemical Analysis

TC 791- Instrumental Textile Chemical Analysis

Recent Publications

  1. Hubbe, M. A., Beck, K. R., O’Neal, W. G., Sharma, Y. C. (2012). Cellulosic Substrates for Removal of Pollutants from Aqueous Systems: A Review. 2. Dyes. BioResources , 7 (2) , 2592-2687.
  2. Zhou, C., Li, M., Garcia, R., Crawford, A., Beck, K.R., Hinks, D., and Griffis, D. P. (2012). Time-of-Flight-Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry Method Development for High-Sensitivity Analysis of Acid Dyes in Nylon Fibers. Analytical Chemistry , 84 (22) , 10085-10090.
  3. Beck, K. R., Hinks, D., Fraser, A. and Weisner, N (2011). Liquid Chromatographic and Mass Spectrometric Analysis of Dyes for Forensic Purposes. AATCC Review , 11 (6) , 67-72.
  4. Ormond, R., Barker, R., Beck, K., Thompson, D., Deaton, S. (2011). Factors Influencing the Uptake Rate of Passive Adsorbent Dosimeters Used in the Man-in-Simulant-Test. Performance of Protective Clothing and Equipment: Emerging Issues and Technologies , 1-19. Publisher: DOI: 10.1520/STP104205; (editor) Shepherd, A. M. : Anaheim, CA; ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA.
  5. Bradham, A. E., Beck, K. R., Thompson, D. T., Barker, R. L., Montero, G. A., Deaton, A. S. (2011). Analytical Techniques for Measuring Toxic Chemicals in CBRN Boot Materials. American Association of Textile Chemist and Colorist Review , 11 (6) , 67-72.

NC State Library Scholarly Publications List

Graduate Projects

Ploughboy, LLC, Tobacco Based Dyes: Isolation, Characterization and Application to Textiles, P. Hauser, H. Freeman and K. Beck, PI’s (2011 – 2013). The goal of this project is to isolate natural colorants from tobacco, characterize them analytically and apply them to cotton fabrics. (Karen York)

National Institute of Justice, Method Development and Validation of Comparative Finished Fiber Analysis Using Nano-Sampling Cryomicrotomy and Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry, D. Hinks, D. Griffis and K. Beck, PI’s, (2010 – 2012). In this project we have developed liquid chromatographic and time-of-flight mass spectrometric methods for analyzing disperse dyes. We are working on the development of a spectral database of these dyes that would assist forensic scientists in their analysis of fibers. (Anne Crawford)

National Science Foundation, IC-CRIME: Interdisciplinary Cyber-Enabled Crime Reconstruction through Innovative Methodology and Engagement, D. Hinks, K. R. Beck, M. Montoya-Weiss, R. M. Young, and T. W Buie, PI’s, (2009-20012). Our portion of this project is the analysis of acid dyes by liquid chromatography and time-of-flight mass spectrometry. (Samantha Blake)

Dr. Beck also is involved with analytical method development with the Textile Protection and Comfort Center. This involves chromatographic, mass spectrometric and titrimetric methods for analyzing a variety of compounds involved in testing clothing for protection against chemical hazards. (Bryan Ormond and Ashley Bradham)


American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists
American Chemical Society

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