Dr. Ning Pan's Group
Honors and Awards
Honorary Doctoral Degree Award
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Professor Ning Pan, Division of Textile and Clothing, Department of Biological & Agricultural Engineering, has recently been awarded an honorary doctor degree by the Technical University of Liberec, Czech Republic at a ceremony held on September 9, 2010 in the city of Liberec, Czech Republic, for his “extraordinary contributions to the development of scientific research in the field of fibrous materials”.

Accepting the Honorary Doctoral Certificate and the medal from the University Rector, Prof. Zdenek Kus.

Accepting the Accompanying Commemorative Certificate from the Parliament of the Czech Republic, from Mr. Premysl Sobotka, President of the Senate, the Parliament of the Czech Republic.

Delivering the acceptance speech

Speech at the Ceremony - Honorary Doctoral from Technical University of Liberec (September 9, 2010, Liberec, Czech Republic)

Born and grown up in China, I had a deep and wonderful impression by things from then Czechoslovakia Republic, such as story from “The Good Soldier Švejk”, and music in “Rusalka”, “New World Symphony” and “Ma Vlast”. For the well understood reason however, the works by Franz Kafka were not available or even heard in China then until much later.

After moving to the U. S. in 1988, my appreciation of “New World Symphony” become much more substantial and more relevant, strengthened further after viewing the movie “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”, and learning with admiration of your Velvet Revolution and the name Václav Havel.

Then there was my visit to the Technical University of Liberec (TUL), invited by then Dean Prof. Jiri Militky during July ~ September 1995, which inevitably connected me closely with this country, this land and this university. I had chance to pay respect to both Dvorak and Smetana at your National Cemetery in Prague during that visit. More importantly I developed strong association with TUL. Among the numerous interactions with the colleagues at TUL, I worked closely with Prof. Oldrich Jirsak on textile thermal properties and with Prof. David Lukas on liquid transport in textiles. The collaboration and friendship continue until today.

As to my research work, I would like to mention two major areas today. The first is related to the study of structural multiscale hierarchy in material systems including textiles. Structural heterogeneity and hierarchy are inherent features in biological nature materials, but their significance in affecting the system behaviors is not well understood. Our studies have first demonstrated clearly that such structural multiscale hierarchy can effectively increase the system specific surface area, improve the material flexibility, and enhance the transport ability. We also have dealt with the associated issues including the behavior non-affinities due to difference in hierarchal levels and the importance of system dimensionality. We have examined these related topics with several approaches to not only reveal the underneath geometrical, mechanical, thermal and transport mechanisms, but also stress the ways in which such mechanisms can be applied to developing engineered material systems with novel properties.

Another of my research interest has to do with biomechanics in textile-skin interactions. Textile/skin interactions are constant and intimate occurrence in everybody, yet very limited efforts have been devoted to this field, and many physical mechanisms involved have not been investigated with necessary rigor. Lacking of theoretical perspective, the existing experimental studies seldom lead to solid conclusions.

Our main research in this interdisciplinary area includes studying the postural sway and stability on carpeted floors; modeling the textile/skin mechanical and frictional actions; simulating the diffusion transdermal process; determining the skin permeability, and investigating the caused disturbance of such interactions to the underneath blood flow, and the skin temperature. It is hoped that our results could more or less demonstrate the interdisciplinary nature of the issues and the need for more close collaborations between researchers from various related fields, eventually leading to better understanding of the issues involved and improved performance of the textile products.

At this stage of my career, I would like to share the following points with the younger colleagues. First I strongly encourage you to acquire a solid training and preparation in fundamental sciences such as mathematics, physics and chemistry, for they determine how far you can go or high you can climb in your scientific endeavor. Then I would suggest that you try your best to work with established yet still diligent people so as to develop good sense and high skills for finding and tackling new and exciting problems. I would also urge you to always explore the new directions and grounds so you can maintain a fresh perspective and remain productive. Furthermore I would like to advise if I could that in your professional pursue, do no hurry but never stop – for this is a long process and it is the accumulation that determines your success: a parallel thought - urgent things are very often not the most important ones for your career.

With this and a humble acknowledgement, I accept and thank you all for this great honor!

NASA Tech Brief the Nano 50 Award
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Awarded the Nano 50 for 2005 by NASA Tech Briefs for an invention on Carbon Nanotube supercapacitor.

Other Academic Awards
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  • 2007 Awarded 3 Year Guest Professor by Donghua University, Shanghai, China

  • 2004 Awarded the Fellow status by the America Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)

  • 2002 Awarded Guest Professor by two prominent universities in Shanghai, China, Donghua University and East China Polytechnic University.

  • 1995 Awarded the Fellow status by the Textile Institute, the major worldwide textile professional society Headquartered in England.

Society Honor Services
  • 2006 Organizer of the Textile Engineering Division sessions, ASME 2006 IMECE in Chicago, IL, Nov. 5-10.

  • 2004-2006 Chair of the Textile Engineering Division, ASME

  • 2004 Organizer of the Textile Engineering Division sessions, ASME 2004 IMECE in Anaheim, CA, Nov. 13-19.

  • 2001 Co-Organizer, the 2001 Fiber Society Fall Conference in Lake Tahoe, NE, Oct 31, Nov 2.

  • 2000 Elected the President of the Fiber Society.

  • 1999 Elected the vice President of the Fiber Society.

  • 1998 Selected as one of the keynote speakers for a major international conference with the theme 100 Years of Modern Fiber Science held in the US.

  • 1997 Selected as the Fiber Society Distinguished Lecturer for 1997-1998.

International Visitations
  • 2002 - Invited to visit and lecture at two universities in China funded by an earmarked grant named Prominent Scholars Seminar Grant from the China Education Ministry.

  • 2002 - Invited by the Dept. Applied Mechanics, Chalmers University in Sweden to act as the External Reviewer and opponent for an exit dissertation defense of a PhD student.

  • 1997 - Invited as a visiting scientist by the University of New South Wales in Australia for 2 months supported by a grant from the Australia Research Council.

  • 1996 - Invited and hosted by the Textile Research Symposium in Japan to present a seminar at Kyoto University entitled Textile Research at Universities in USA.

  • 1994 - Invited for an oral presentation at the Gordon Research Conference on Fiber Science.

  • 1994 - Invited by the Technical University of Liberec in Czech Republic as a visiting scientist for 2 months sponsored with a special grant established by the Education Ministry of Czech Republic to invite from Western countries the recognized scientists.

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