Sharon Baurley named chair of Burberry Material Futures Research Group
Burberry Foundation has announced that Professor Sharon Baurley will be chair of its new Burberry Material Futures Research Group, a research hub focused on advancing the fashion industry it announced last year in partnership with the Royal College of Art.
Baurley will define the research agenda of the group, which was unveiled in June following a £3 million grant from the Burberry Foundation. An academic expert with vast experience in a range of topics from smart materials to the impact of new tech on the future of manufacturing, Baurley will also aim to give outcomes a commercial and practical application by collaborating with industry partners.
She said: “It’s very exciting to have the opportunity to build the Burberry Material Futures Research Group into an internationally leading centre in research and innovation in design and materials that contributes to building a future of sustainable design and production.”
The research group will act as a virtual centre until 2020, when it will officially open at the new RCA campus in Battersea. The hub, the first of its kind in the world, will be the first explicit STEAM research centre at a traditional art and design university. It will aim to invent new sustainable materials, transform customer experience and find new manufacturing solutions.
Leanne Wood, Burberry chief people, strategy & corporate affairs officer, and trustee of the Burberry Foundation, said: “We are delighted that Professor Sharon Baurley has been appointed chair of the Burberry Material Futures Research Group. The group was created to find ways to build a more sustainable future and we are excited to see the advances in material science that will be achieved under her leadership.”
Baurley has been a research professor at the Royal College of Arts since 2016, where she also completed her PhD in Textile Design. She has also worked as a consultant with Courtaulds Textiles, Marks & Spencer, Unilever, Design Intelligence and Mantero.
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