Bradley Professor Named "Researcher to Know in 2021"

August 13, 2021

The Illinois Science & Technology Coalition (ISTC) has named Bradley chemistry and biochemistry research professor Luke Haverhals to its fourth annual list of Researchers to Know in 2021.

Haverhals' research focuses on analytical and physical chemistry and its application to material science. As a result, he co-founded Natural Fiber Welding (NFW) in 2015, a successful company that has partnered with popular retail brands such as Ralph Lauren and Allbirds because of its eco-friendly, high-functioning products. This includes a performance cotton textile made with revitalized recycled fibers and a high-performance, plant-based alternative to leather.

NFW is located in Peoria, Illinois, and plans to more than double its manufacturing footprint and workforce, adding over 100 new employees to the area. According to ISTC's press release, since the company's launch, it has raised $20 million-plus in funding and earned recognition from Fast Companies 2020 World Changing Ideas contest.

This list features standout researchers and their innovative work taking place on campuses throughout the state. “Each of the researchers chosen for the honor has demonstrated outstanding achievement in their research field," said Matthew Bragg, Director of ISTC. "This year’s group of researchers includes those fighting COVID-19 and preventing diseases; advancing energy and sustainability; using data and pioneering analytics; and founding new companies.”

Photo Cred: ISTC

Photo Cred: ISTC