Professor Kotek graduated from the Man-Made Fibers Institute at Lodz Polytechnic in Poland where he specialized in man-made fiber technology and polymer chemistry. He developed flame-retardant polyester fibers and completed his Ph. D. thesis under the direction of Professor B. Laszkiewicz.
Following completion of his Ph. D., he worked at the Man-Made Fibers Institute and then came to the United States to work as a postdoctoral research associate for Professor W. R. Krigbaum at Duke University.
While with Professor Krigbaum, Dr. Kotek carried out a liquid crystalline polymer research program. His work involved a new monomer and polymer synthesis. Soon after completing his postdoctoral assignment, he joined the R&D department at BASF Corporation (where he gained valuable industrial experience). He was involved in expanding fundamental understanding of spinning processes and also carried out studies on fiber morphology and molecular orientation. He developed and patented a new semi-continuous process for the depolymerization of nylon 6 polymer. Dr. Kotek also holds patents for making hollow fibers. He has extensive experience in fiber extrusion, particularly nylon and polyester fibers.
Dr. Kotek joined the College of Textiles at North Carolina State University in August 1999.
He is married and has two children, Magdalena and Kristof.
His wife, Elizabeth, is a licensed mechanical engineer practicing in the Triangle. Magdalena is a graduate of the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, and Kristof is a student at Athens Drive High School.
Dr. Kotek enjoys reading and playing tennis and golf. He is a youth soccer coach.
Dr. Kotek is a polymer chemist with an interest in fundamental research on the structure/property, processing, and manufacturing (or synthesis) of fiber forming polymers particularly:
- Biopolymers and liquid crystalline polymers for specialized end uses.
- Nylon, polyester and polypropylene for use in industrial applications
- Fundamental research on the formation of hollow fibers.
- Molecular orientation of complex filaments by using sound propagation techniques.
- Adhesion of polymer melts to metal surfaces.
- Efficient depolymerization and/or recovery of monomers from fibrous materials.
Dr. Kotek teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in polymer chemistry.
He has taught TC461 course: Laboratory Exercises for Fiber Forming Polymers.
- Avci, H., Kotek, R., & Toliver, B (2014). Controlling of threadline dynamics via a novel method to develop ultra‐high performance polypropylene filaments. Polymer Engineering & Science .
- Avci, H., Monticello, R., & Kotek, R. (2013). Preparation of antibacterial PVA and PEO nanofibers containing Lawsonia Inermis (henna) leaf extracts. Journal of Biomaterials Science, Polymer Edition , 24 (16) , 1815-1830.
- Zhu, Y., Douglass, E., Theyson, T., Hogan, R., Kotek, R., (2013). Cellulose and Soy Proteins Based Membrane Networks. Macromolecular Symposia, Special Issue: Polymer Gels: Formation, Structure, Properties and Applications , 329 (1) , 70-86.
- Roe, B., Kotek, R., Zhang, X. (2012). Durable Hydrophobic Cotton Surfaces Prepared by Using Silica Nanoparticles and Multifunctional Silanes. Journal of the Textile Institute , 103 , 385-393.
- Nazi, M., Mohammad Ali Malek, R., Kotek, R. (2012). Modification of B-cyclodextrin and application of the new derivative to cotton fabrics. Carbohydrate Polymers , 88 (3) , 950-958.