Professor Stephen J. Russell

Professor Stephen J. Russell


I am a textile engineer and a specialist in nonwovens, with a background in both academic and industrial research.

Professor of Textile Materials & Technology (2006–Present), Director, Leeds Institute for Textiles and Colour (LITAC), (2021–Present), Director, Clothworkers' Centre for Textile Materials Innovation for Healthcare (CCTMIH) (2012–Present), Director, Future Fashion Factory (FFF) (2018–Present), Director, Nonwovens Research (1995–Present). Founder and Group Technical Director, NIRI Ltd - University of Leeds spinout company (2005–Present), Honorary Liveryman of the Clothworkers Company (2013), Freeman of the City of London (2013).

The research group comprises ~25 PhD students and staff supported by the EPSRC, AHRC, Innovate UK and numerous companies. Research focuses on the manufacture and process-structure-property relationships of textile materials, particularly nonwovens and technical textiles, attracting research income of ~£30 million. The research has led to new fabrics industrially applied in a raft of medical, healthcare, consumer and industrial products with critical performance requirements. Outcomes include micro-cavitied nonwoven fabrics with directional specific permeability enabling controlled liquid distribution, water dispersible medical devices and multiple industrially licensed textile technologies.

In 2005 following external investment, I founded the Nonwovens Innovation and Research Institute (NIRI) Ltd, a University of Leeds spin-out company serving the global nonwovens industry, specialising in technical consultancy and product development. 



  • Director, Clothworkers' Centre for Textile Materials Innovation for Healthcare (CCTMIH)
  • Director, Leeds Institute of Textiles and Colour (LITAC)
  • Director, Future Fashion Factory (FFF)

Research interests

  • nonwoven materials, manufacturing and technology
  • textile science, manufacturing and technology; process-structure-property relationships
  • sustainable development in the fashion and textile industry
  • technologies for textile recycling and reuse
  • biomaterials manufacturing, design and manufacture of fibre-based devices for healthcare
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD
  • CText FTI
  • FRSA

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>