Nadir Yildirim, a doctoral student in the Wood Science and Technology Program in the School of Forest Resources, was named the 2015 recipient of the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture’s recently renamed Edith Patch Award.
Yildirim of Mugla, Turkey studies the production and evaluation of super-light nanocellular structures, nanocomposites, aerogels and eco-friendly foams under the supervision of Stephen Shaler, professor of wood sciences and technology and director of the UMaine School of Forest Resources.
After completing the graduate certificate in Innovation Engineering through the Foster Center for Student Innovation, Yildirim started Revolution Research, Inc. (RRI) based in Orono. RRI focuses on the development and commercialization of eco-friendly replacements of petroleum-based thermal insulation products.
Through his Ph.D. studies, supported by the USDA McIntire-Stennis program, a Maine Technology Institute Phase 0 KickStarter grant and the MTI Technical Assistance Program, Yildirim recently submitted a Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant to the National Science Foundation for research into corn starch and cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs).
Nadir’s development and testing at the Advanced Structures and Composites Center lead to the creation of an innovative foam board system made of CNFs, which is the focus of the grant application. RRI’s goal is to produce the first eco-friendly, recyclable and reusable thermal insulation foam board, which can be used within wall sheathing systems, on floors and in roof systems of residential or commercial buildings.
In recognition of UMaine’s Women in Leadership Week, the college renamed the Outstanding Ph.D. Student Award to honor Edith Patch, a pioneering entomologist and UMaine faculty member.
The Edith Patch Award recognizes graduate students at the Ph.D. level who have distinguished themselves in multiple ways. Recipients are selected based on research and scholarly activity, teaching, professional activity, university and public service, and academic performance; areas in which Patch distinguished herself during her UMaine career.
Patch was a major figure in entomology at UMaine from 1904–37. She was the first female president of the Entomological Society of America, was the head of the Entomology Department at UMaine and published several works including “Food Plant Catalogue of the Aphids of the World.”