Textiles group renames scholarship after URI professor

Martin Bide honored by industry association for his service

Posted on
Professor Martin Bide
Professor Martin Bide. URI Photo by Michael Salerno Photography

KINGSTON, R.I. – April 4, 2018 — Professor Martin Bide, whose distinguished career at the University of Rhode Island has included research into sustainable textiles and groundbreaking biomedical materials, was recently honored when a scholarship created by a leading textile association was dedicated in his name.

The American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists has renamed an annual scholarship it awards to URI students the AATCC Foundation Martin J. Bide University of Rhode Island Scholarship. The award was previously known as the AATCC Foundation University of Rhode Island Scholarship.

“When it was announced, my jaw dropped. I was very surprised and very honored by it,” Bide said.

In addition to naming the scholarship after Bide, the foundation doubled the value of the award to $2,000. Charles and Carol Ann Gavin established the original annual scholarship in January 2016. Charles Gavin is a past president and treasurer of the association, and he was the first individual to make a donation to AATCC Foundation, Inc. after it was established as a separate public charitable foundation in 1997.

“Charles Gavin and the rest of us at the foundation wanted to honor Professor Bide for his years of assistance and involvement with the AATCC and the AATCC Foundation itself,” said John Y. Daniels, President of AATCC Foundation, Inc.

Bide joined the association when he arrived in the United States from the United Kingdom in 1982. Since then, he said, it has been an invaluable part of his professional work and the resulting links with industry professionals has informed his teaching in the textiles, fashion merchandising and design program at URI.

“One thing that distinguishes our program from other textiles, fashion merchandising and design programs is the technical education that goes into our program, and because of that technical knowledge, a lot of our students do well after they graduate,” he said. “The association has taught me a lot, and I’m able to bring much of that knowledge back to the classroom here at URI. It’s a great informational exchange.”

Bide joined the University in 1991 and he teaches courses in textile science, color science, dyeing and textile testing.

His background in dyes and textiles led to research in pollution prevention for the textile industry, which in turn has enabled him to contribute to the current debates on sustainability. A further spin-off from dyes and textiles is an extensive series of projects involving the development of novel biomedical materials in conjunction with BioSurfaces, Inc. of Ashland, Mass., resulting in four patents. Bide also enjoys the occasional foray into textile dyeing history and dye analysis.

Bide received the AATCC’s 2011 Olney Medal for “achievement in textile chemistry” and the Chapin Award for his service to the association in 2009. He is also active in the administration of the association, serving as its president in 2007 and 2008. Previously, he also chaired committees on applied dyeing theory, as well as safety, health and environmental technology, and he served as the association’s New England regional vice president. He now serves as editor-in-chief of the peer-reviewed AATCC Journal of Research, helping to launch the new journal in 2014.

The AATCC Foundation Martin J. Bide University of Rhode Island Scholarship is available to undergraduate students pursuing degrees in textile fashion, merchandising, and design at the University of Rhode Island. The student recipients should have demonstrated scholastic progress toward their intended degrees. Given this, and the need to apply the scholarship to future study, the recipients will usually be sophomores and juniors at the time of application. Financial need and demonstrated work experience and history will be taken into consideration. Scholarship recipients must be U.S. citizens.

Students applying for the AATCC Foundation Martin J. Bide University of Rhode Island Scholarship should submit their applications through the foundation’s scholarship online portal at www.aatcc.org/fnd/grants-scholarships/aatcc-foundation-university-of-rhode-island-scholarship. Once an individual is nominated for scholarship by the Martin J. Bide University of Rhode Island Scholarship Committee, the foundation’s Board of Directors will confirm the nomination.

“I recognize that students struggle financially, so it’s an honor to have my name attached to a scholarship that will give them a boost,” Bide said.