The Selection Committee of the IULTCS Research Commission (IUR)  announced on 11 February the recipients of the Young Leather Scientist Grants and for the first time there has been two awards.

The winner of the IUR research grant is Catherine Maidment from New Zealand Leather and Shoe Research Association, Palmerston North, New Zealand. Catherine will address the causes for loose and tight leathers. She will correlate this important structural-mechanical behaviour with the profiles of protein compositions of different processing states in the beamhouse, measured by liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectroscopy.

Md Shahruk Nur-A-Tomal,  University of New South Wales, Australia, is the winner for sustainability and environmental protection. He will investigate the use of leather shavings and cuttings as a reducing agent in steel production. The treatment of these by-products of the leather industry is still a challenge and would close the last gap in the material cycles of the leather industry. Sharuk Nur-A-Tomal had previously been the successful winner of the basic grant in 2016 and has won a YLSG award for the second time this year.

Dr Michael Meyer, the IUR Chair, stated on this fifth year of the Young Leather Scientist Grant: “This year we have received around fifteen innovative research topics. The overall quality of the applications has been at a high level and the decision was not easy”. This indicates the growing importance and interest in this grant. The Selection Committee was supported by Thierry Poncet from CTC, Lyon and Jeffry Guthry-Strachan, from Trumpler to ensure the necessary independence, confidentiality, and integrity of the selection.

This is the second year in a row that LASRA has won the Young Leather Scientist of the year award with Ethan Zhang taking out the title in 2018.