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Undergrad Research and Creativity Symposium Offers Wilson College Students Opportunity to Present New Research

Maggie Kimmet, Leeman Smith, and Lara Rabinowitz standing with their research

By Mary Giuffrida

Five students from the Wilson College of Textiles participated in the NC State Undergrad Research and Creativity Symposium last month. The symposium offers students from all of NC State’s colleges the opportunity to present their research or creative projects, as well as network with other students, faculty and industry professionals. 

Below, get to know the participants from the Wilson College of Textiles and their research:

Graham Neve stands next to his research poster.

Graham Neve

Polymer and Color Chemistry | Graduated May 2022

Neve’s research investigates how to use polymers to remove dyes from industrial textile wastewater. The goal is to extract the clean water and then reuse the dyes and polymer. Specifically, his research team has been modifying polycarbodiimides and manipulating the acid dyes’ attraction and release with pH. They have also tested the effect of the solution’s ionic character on the dye’s ability to partition into the organic layer.

Emily Petersen stands next to her research poster.

Emily Petersen

Textile Engineering | Graduated May 2022

Petersen is integrating miniature fiber-shaped artificial muscles powered by compressed air into a knee brace to form a system that helps the user move. The artificial muscles mounted to the outside of the brace produce a motion that causes the wearer to flex their knee. Patients suffering from an injury that impedes knee motion or the ability to walk would be able to use the brace to assist them in movement or re-teach them proper walking gait cycles.

Lara Rabinowitz sits in front of her textile collection.

Lara Rabinowitz

Fashion and Textile Design: Textile Design | Graduated May 2022

Rabinowitz’s research explores the idea that objects have agency, the power to act upon others and to affect others. Her concept arises from the new and growing interdisciplinary field of New Materialism, which challenges the belief that objects and materials are passive and separate from humans and instead emphasizes how materials have the ability to act upon us. She created eight hand weavings, three quilts and a bench inspired by objects that she feels have agency. Her research aimed to bridge the gap between the human and material spheres and to emphasize the agency of textiles.

Leeman Smith works on their tapestry.

Leeman Smith

Fashion and Textile Design: Textile Design | Graduated May 2022

According to Smith Emerging Designer’s biography, they are inspired by their journey as a queer person navigating between the two sides of themself that they feel are male and female. By utilizing heavy, vibrant colors and free-flowing shapes they created three mixed-media textile tapestries inspired by one of the Major Arcana cards of the Tarot called “The Lovers.” This card is a depiction of biblical Adam and Eve below an angel. By relating themself to this image, they developed a collection that explores the male and female sides of themself and the sacred relationship between the two that makes them who they are.

A sample from Maggie Kimmett's textile collection.
Photo Courtesy: Veritas Digital Photography

Maggie Kimmett

Fashion and Textile Design: Textile Design | Graduated May 2022

Kimmett created an art installation that uses a variety of textile techniques to emulate the beauty of microbial ecosystems and the structures that they take on, especially in lichen form. She juxtaposes this unseen beauty against the humanistic space to pose the thought that perspective is everything.