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Tilak Dias

Professor

School of Art & Design

Staff Group(s)
Fashion, knitwear and textile design

Role

Tilak Dias is the Professor of Knitting at Nottingham Trent University. He is the founder and the leader of the Advanced Textiles Research Group in the School of Art and Design at Nottingham Trent University. Professor Dias has a background in electronics, textiles and electronic textiles and a track record in exploiting his research. The intellectual property of his work has been protected with 41 patent applications with 24 already granted. In addition, Professor Dias’ research has resulted in the creation three spin-out companies in the UK for the commercialisation of the above IP. The main focus of his current work is in the area of electronic textiles where the objective is to embed integrated circuit chips within the fibres of yarns. In addition, Professor Dias is working on a collaborative EPSRC project with Loughborough University on the development of embroidered fabric antenna and with the University of Sheffield on the development of knitted metamaterials for communication systems in a DSTL sponsored project. Professor Dias is also working with the military in the development of active camouflage and prosthetic limb interfaces. Other projects have been electronic textiles for the automotive industry, electrically heated gloves, textile sensors for stroke rehabilitation and textile electrodes for ECG measurement. Professor Dias has also developed a novel technology platform for the production of patient customised compression garments for the treatment of venous ulcers and lymphoedema, and has published over 100 papers in journals and international conferences.

Current projects:

  • smart heating textiles (heating gloves, heating back supports and garments)
  • knitted transducers, sensors and health monitoring garments
  • Knitted garments for motion detection and controlling electronic devices
  • light emitting textiles
  • fabric antenna systems
  • 3D seamless customised compression systems for the treatment of venous disease, lymphoedema and burns
  • improved blood pressure measuring cuffs
  • three dimensionally knitted structures for drug delivery systems
  • three dimensionally knitted garments for prosthetics
  • intelligent yarn delivery systems for computerised knitting machines
  • 3D knitted spacer structures for architectural, medical, electrical and PPE applications.

Current grants:

  • high Performance Flexible, Fabric Electronics for MegaHertz Frequency Communications; EPSRC-IeMRC total grant of £465,249.00 with Professor J C Vardaxoglou, School of Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering at University of Loughborough; (2010-2013);
  • "The development of clothing with fully embedded electronics for military applications"; DSTL grant of £154,000 for a four year PhD studentship (2012-2016);
  • "Advanced design and manufacture of conducting textile electromagnetic structures";
  • DSTL total grant of £58,000 with Dr A Tennant, Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering in the University of Sheffield (2012);
  • "Seamless knitted prosthetic sleeves for the management of perspiration";  DSTL grant of £66,404 (2012).

Previous grants:

  • "Smart Materials - Designing the Functionality": EPSRC grant of £249,974 with Professor G McHale (2011 - 2012);
  • "Knitted metamaterials for communication systems"; DSTL grant of £45,712 with Dr A Tennant, Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering of the University of Sheffield, (2012);
  • "Centre for Advanced Textiles"; HEIF grant of £25,000.00 (2012-2011);
  • "Wearable computing for real time monitoring of 3D foot orientation"; NEAT (DoH) grant of £67,360.00 with Dr L Kenney at Centre for Rehabilitation and Human Performance Research, University of Salford; (2008-2009);
  • "Compression garments for chronic large arm lymphoedema"; NEAT (DoH) grant of £278,184.00 with Professor N Bundred in Department of Surgery at South Manchester University Hospital NHS Trust; (2005-2007);
  • "Development of Health Vest for vital sign monitoring of older people; grant of £254,952.00 from SmartLife Technology Ltd; (2005-2007);
  • Engineered compression garments for venous disease; Wellcome Trust grant of £493,080.00 with Professor C McCollum in Vascular Studies Unit at South Manchester University Hospital; (2000-2003);
  • Knitwear Incubator; ERDF grant of £2,054,108,00; (2002-2006);
  • NW Technical Textiles Partnership; ERDF grant of £1,400,000.00; (2002-2006);
  • Knowledge for Innovation (K4I); EQUAL grant of £5,458,000.00; (2004-2007).

Professor Dias is interested in supervising PhD students, if you are interested please select the Research tab to see more information about his research field.

Career overview

Present Appointment

2010 - Professor of Knitting, School of Art & Design, Nottingham Trent University

Previous Appointments

2004 - 2010 Senior Lecturer, School of Materials, The University of Manchester (UoM)
2002 – 2007 Head of the William Lee Innovation Centre at UMIST/UoM
1998 - 2004 Senior Lecturer in Knitting, Department of Textiles at UMIST
1992 - 1998 Lecturer in Knitting, Department of Textiles at UMIST
1988 - 1992 Senior Lecturer in Knitting, Department of Textile Technology, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka
1984 - 1988 Post Graduate Research Assistant, Institut für Textil- und Verfahrenstechnik, Denkendorf, University of Stuttgart, Germany
1981 - 1984 Lecturer in Knitting & Non-wovens, Department of Textile Technology, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka

Visiting Appointments

2006 Aug. Visiting Academic Advisor, Textile Institute Pakistan; Invited by the Higher Education Council of Pakistan and the British Council (1 week)
2005 Feb. Visiting Academic Advisor, Textile Institute Pakistan; Invited by the Higher Education Council of Pakistan and the British Council (1 week)
2004 March Visiting Academic Advisor, Department of Textiles, National University of Science and Technology, Zimbabwe, British Council Fellowship (2 weeks)
2003 Aug. Visiting Academic Advisor, Department of Textiles, National University of Science and Technology, Zimbabwe, British Council Fellowship (2 weeks)
1998 Aug. Visiting Lecturer, Department of Textiles, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, British Council Fellowship (6 weeks)
1995 Sept. Visiting Lecturer, Department of Textiles, University of Mauritius, British Council Fellowship (2 weeks)
1994 March Visiting Lecturer, Department of Textiles, University of Mauritius, British Council Fellowship (3 weeks)
1989 Nov. Visiting Research Fellow, Institut für Textil- und Verharenstechnik, Denkendorf, DAAD Fellowship, Germany (5 weeks)
1988 Oct. Visiting Research Fellow, Institut für Textil- und Verharenstechnik, Denkendorf, Germany (8 weeks)

Personal Scholarships/Awards

1976 Sri Lankan Government Scholarship to study Textile Engineering at Technische Universität Dresden
1984 DAAD scholarship (German Academic Exchange Service) for post graduate research in Textile Engineering in the Institut für Textil- und Verfahrenstechnik (ITV) Denkendorf of the Universität Stuttgart
1989 British Council Fellowship to Leeds University; duration 6 weeks
1991 DAAD Fellowship to ITV (Institut für Textil- und Verfahrenstechnik) Denkendorf, Germany; duration 6 weeks
1994 ARC (Academic Research Collaboration) travel award for collaborative research with ITV Denkendorf

Research areas

Professor Tilak Dias's research is centred on the disciplines of textile material properties, performance and design and has been largely interdisciplinary in nature, involving the relationships between structure, properties and performance. Since 2000 Professor Dias has focused his research activities in two areas:

  • advanced textile structures
  • integration of textile technology with electronics.

The above research focus has led into such diverse fields as:

  • embedding of micro-chips within the fibres of a yarn
  • embroidered antennas
  • knitted sensors
  • electrically heatable knitted structures
  • knitted structures for prostheses
  • eczema garments
  • varicose ulcer and lymphoedema treatment systems
  • burns garments
  • wearable cooling systems.

Professor Dias has published over 100 scientific papers in leading journals and conferences and is named as the lead inventor in 42 patents.

Information for prospective research students:

  • Smart and interactive textiles (SMIT)
  • Knitted compression garments
  • 3D knitting
  • Textiles for personal protection equipment
  • Medical textiles.

Research groups:

  • Advanced Textiles Research Group

External activity

Professor Dias has developed  three novel core technology platforms; which have resulted in the formation of three spin out companies in the UK for their commercial exploitation; ATM Ltd http://www.atm.uk.com/ , SmartLifeInc Ltd. http://www.smartlifetech.com/ and EntellFibres Ltd.

Invited key note lectures:

1. Dias, T. Knitted 3D structures, invited guest lecture of the conference “3D Fabric Forming”, Centre for Textile Research, University of Boras, Sweden, September 1998
2. Dias, T. Novel technology for design and engineering pressure systems for the treatment of venous ulcers, invited guest lecture of the “2nd International Conference on Advanced Fiber/Textile Materials 2002”, Ueda, Japan, November 2002
3. Dias, T. Knitting in the 3rd dimension and knitted transducers, invited guest lecture of the conference “Future Textiles”, National University of Science & Technology, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, March 2004
4. Dias, T. Smart and intelligent knitted structures, invited guest lecture of the special workshop organised by the Textile Institute, Sri Lanka section, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka, August 2004
5. Dias, T. Future Textiles, invited guest lecture of the “Textile Industry Special Seminar”, Textile Institute of Pakistan, Karachi, February 2005
6. Dias, T. Innovation & knitting, invited guest lecture of the “Textile Industry Special Seminar”, Textile Institute of Pakistan, Karachi,, August 2006
7. Dias, T. & Pedley, M., Cool Sensors for a Freer Lifestyle, invited guest lecture of the 22nd Meeting of the Intelligent Sensing Programme of Sensors & Instrumentation KTN, IEE, Savoy Place, London, January 2008
8. Dias, T. Knitted Medical Textiles – Research to Commercialisation, invited guest lecture of the special workshop organised by the Textile Institute, Sri Lanka section, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka, August 2009
9. Dias, T. Smart Textiles - Adding value to Sri Lankan textiles - the Electro-textiles Option, invited guest lecture of the special workshop organised by the Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology, Biyagama Export Processing Zone, Sri Lanka, August 2009
10. Dias, T. Electrically Active Knitted Spacer Structures, invited guest lecture for 50 Years Luxilon – Celebration and Symposium, Luxilon Industries NV, Wijnegem, Belgium, December 2009
11. Dias, T. Electronically Active Smart Textiles, invited guest lecture to the British Computer Society, Manchester, March 2011; HiNOW, volume 6, number 2; http://www.bcs.org/category/8336
12. Dias, T., Adding value to Smart Textiles – the electronic textiles option, The 8th China International Patent Fair, invited guest lecture, Dalian, September 2012

Professional services:

  • 2000 – 2002 Member of the EPSRC School
  • 2000 – 2004 Member of the Board of Management, TechniTex Faraday Partnership
  • 2002-2005 Lead Academic on Textiles of the North West University Association
  • 2002 – Technical Director, Engineered Fibre Structures Ltd
  • 2004 – 2008 Research Director, SmartLife Technology Ltd
  • 2009 - Research Director, EntellFibres Ltd.

Sponsors and collaborators

Sponsors and Collaborators

Professor Dias played a pivotal role in developing the UK's TechniTex Faraday Partnership with the other hub partners, Herriot-Watt University, Leeds University and BTTG in 1999 - 2004. During the last twelve years Professor Dias has attracted over £13 million from a broad portfolio of funding sources (Wellcome Trust, Department of Health-NEAT, DTI Innovations Fund, DTI-EPSRC Faraday Partnership, Clothworker's Foundation, ERDF, EU-EQUAL Programme, EPSRC, DSTL and Industry), for his research, technology translation and knowledge transfer projects, and equipment donations for research from leading textile machine manufacturers.

These aspects of Professor Dias' work have led to considerable international interest and a number of invitations to international conferences (e.g. Ueda Conference on Fibres and Textiles in Japan, Asian Textile Conference in Hong Kong, ICCE conferences in USA, and SWIRF, NASA, Houston).

Publications

DIAS, T., 2012. Electro-Luminant fabric structures, US2010003496 (patent pending), EP2049716 (patent pending), CN2010003496 ( patent pending)

DIAS, T., AND MONARAGALA, R., Development and analysis of novel electroluminescent yarns and fabrics for localized automotive interior illumination, Textile Research Journal, vol. 82, 2012, pp. 1164 – 1176 (DOI: 10.1177/0040517511420763) ISSN 1746-7748

DIAS, T., 2012. Pressure garment 2, EP1756343 (patent granted on 11.04.2012)

PREECE, S., KENNEY, L , MAJOR, J, DIAS, T., LAY, E., FERNANDES, B., 2011. Automatic Identification Of Gait Events Using An Instrumented Sock, Journal Of Neuroengineering And Rehabilitation, vol.8, pp.1-10 (doi:10.1186/1743-0003-8-32) ISSN 1743-0003

DIAS, T., 2011. Linear Electronic Transducer, EP2245223 (patent granted on 16.11.2011)

DIAS, T., 2011. Seamless Ultra Cut Resistant Glove, EP2155942 (patent granted on 10.08.2011); US2010/0236294 (patent pending)

DIAS, T., 2010. Pressure garment, EP1444393 (patent granted on 21.07.2010)

See all of Tilak Dias's publications...

Press expertise

Tilak's areas of expertise are:

  • Textiles (Electronically Active Textiles - EAT);
  • Textiles (knitted medical textiles; Knitting).