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Faculty and Staff

Pourdeyhimi Wins O. Max Gardner Award

Behnam Pourdeyhimi with doctoral student Jenny Leary
2015 O. Max Gardner Award winner Behnam Pourdeyhimi works with Jenny Leary, a Ph.D. student in the College of Textiles.

NC State textiles visionary Behnam Pourdeyhimi has won a 2015 O. Max Gardner Award – the UNC system’s highest faculty honor – for his contributions to health and human safety.

Pourdeyhimi’s research focuses on technologies to improve water purification and air filtration, biomanufacturing, drug delivery systems, agricultural production and protective materials for the military and civilians. The associate dean for industry research and extension in the College of Textiles holds more than 80 U.S. and international patents and has been instrumental in launching three start-up companies.

As director of NC State’s Nonwovens Institute, Pourdeyhimi has his finger on the pulse of industry. The institute brings together nearly 70 companies, government and university experts to create next-generation engineered fabrics.

Nonwovens are big business. North Carolina has attracted more than $720 million in investment from nonwovens companies in the past 10 years. In addition to American businesses, corporations from Israel, Japan, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, Brazil and Mexico have invested in nonwovens in the state.

With teaching based on cutting-edge research, Pourdeyhimi is educating a new generation of international leaders at NC State. They include more than 100 Ph.D. students sponsored by the institute in the last 15 years who are now transforming the industry. More than 45 Ph.D. students are currently being funded thanks to his work, which includes basic and applied research in excess of $30 million.

Pourdeyhimi is the 30th professor from NC State to win the O. Max Gardner award, given annually to faculty in the 17-campus system for significant contributions to the welfare of the human race.