A Texas Tech University researcher who developed a decontamination wipe to meet a critical need for the U.S. military received the Scientist of the Year award from the Lubbock chapter of the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists Foundation.

Seshadri Ramkumar, an associate professor and manager of the Nonwoven and Advanced Materials Laboratory at The Institute of Environmental and Human Health received the award Tuesday (Oct. 20) for his invention of the FibertectTM wipe during the foundation’s gala event at the Lubbock Women’s Club.

At the event, Ramkumar explained how the product was created from its inception to its production, testing and evaluation by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and patent. He was accompanied by Guy Bailey, President of Texas Tech University.

In December 2008, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory performed an evaluation of several decontamination products including FibertectTM. Their results were published in the American Chemical Society’s peer-reviewed journal, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research.

After testing with mustard gas and other toxic chemicals, the results showed that the Texas Tech-created dry fabric out-performed 30 different decontamination products, including materials currently used in military decontamination kits.

The laboratory recommended FibertectTM to be part of a prototype low-cost personal decontamination system.

Ramkumar received the patent for the process used to create nonwoven toxic chemical decontamination wipes this spring.