Core Team

Dr. Dong Zhang, Founder and Owner

Dr. Zhang is the editor-in-chief of Textile Research Journal (TRJ) and the Journal of Industrial Textiles (JIT). He is a globally well-recognized expert in textiles, nonwovens, material science and technologies. Dr. Zhang is the founder of Textile Research Associates (USA), an excellent resource to connect hundreds of experts in textiles and nonwovens from academia and the industry worldwide. He served as a research professor at the University of Tennessee’s Textiles and Nonwovens Development Center (TANDEC) from 1996 to 2004, with over 35 years of professional experience in textile engineering, carbon fibers, meltblown, spunbond, and other nonwoven processes. Dr. Zhang has over 100 publications, several US patents, and several books. He received his Ph.D. in Material Engineering and Science from the University of Tennessee (Knoxville), a Master of Engineering in textiles from Tianjin Polytechnic University, Tianjin, China, in 1985, and a Master of Science in material science from the University of Tennessee (Knoxville) in 1991.

Dr. Christine Sun, Principal

Dr. Sun, President of Waterloo Filtration Institute, is a renowned technical and market expert in the global filtration industry. With over 30 years of experience in academia and the industry, she has an in-depth knowledge of filtration and extensive hands-on expertise in product development with over 100 technical publications and patents. She is also actively involved in many air and liquid filter test standard development. Dr. Sun worked for Freudenberg Filtration Technologies from 2004 to 2011 as an R&D manager and then as Technology Director for Donaldson from 2011 to 2013. She was the AFS Chair from 2016 to 2017 and received the AFS Fellow Award in 2019, Sr. Scientist Award in 2012, and the best paper awards from INDA in 2008. She is also an editorial board member for Textile Research Journal and Journal of Industrial Textiles. Dr. Sun received her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, and her Executive Certificate from Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management.

Dr. Gajanan Bhat, Leading Expert in Polymer, Textiles & Nonwovens

Dr. Bhat is a professor and the Department Head of Textiles, Merchandising & Interiors at the University of Georgia. In August 1990, after earning his Ph.D. from Georgia Tech in textile and polymer engineering, he joined the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) where his research covered nonwovens - melt blown, spunbonded and biodegradable, plastics recycling, nanotechnology, sustainable materials, and high-performance fibers. As the director of UT Nonwovens Research Laboratory, he focused on production of nanofibers from thermoplastic polymers by meltblowing. In July 2016, he joined the University of Georgia as the Head of the TMI department. Dr. Bhat has published more than 200 research papers and has three US Patents. He has served as the president of the Fiber Society and is an active member of the International Nonwovens and Disposables Association (INDA), American Paper & Pulp Association (TAPPI) and the Textile Institute. He received the Outstanding Young Engineering Alumni Award from Georgia Tech (1996), Distinguished Achievement Award from the Fiber Society (1999), Fellow of the Textile Institute (2005), TechniTex India Research Achievement Award (2008) and TAPPI NET division Technical Achievement Award (2014).

Bob Burkhead, Leading Expert in Air Filter Testing

Mr. Burkhead is the owner and president of Blue Heaven Technologies, an IAQ and filtration product testing laboratory located in Louisville, Kentucky. He has 42 years of experience in filtration product design and performance testing. He is heavily involved in ASHRAE technical, standards and society level committees. He is a past chairman of the filter testing protocol committee, ASHRAE SSPC 52.2. He also participates in global indoor air quality (IAQ) standards writing via ISO and has been a member of the U. S. technical advisory group for ISO TC 142 for 24 years. He is a well-recognized leading expert in the global air filtration industry for test standard development and professional testing and educational services about various air filtration and IAQ products. He received a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering technology from Western Kentucky University in 1977.