Textiles expert and learning and teaching innovator appointed Chairman of The Textile Institute

Categories: University Campus

The Textile Institute has named Professor Jess Power, Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor for Learning and Teaching Enhancement and Professor of Learning and Teaching at the University of Salford, as their next Chairman. The announcement took place at The Textile Institute’s 113th Annual General Meeting earlier today (Monday 3 July). 

Jess has achieved a long-spanning and successful career in the textiles industry and academia. She started her career working for the British luxury fashion brand Jaeger as a design interpreter shortly after graduating with a BSc (Hons) in Knitwear Design and Production from De Montfort University. She continued her career in academia obtaining a MA in Fashion/Textiles from Nottingham Trent University, a PhD in Technical Textiles from UMIST and an MBA from University if Huddersfield. In 2017 she was conferred to Chair in Learning and Teaching at the University of Huddersfield. 

Jess joined the University of Salford in November 2021 with intent to develop the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Centre. She currently leads a team of Academic Developers and Learning Technologists providing the focal point to disseminate and embed best practice, engaging with academic staff from across the institution. The Centre acts as a catalyst, bringing the University of Salford to the forefront as a sector leader for innovative pedagogic practice.

Over her career she has received various prestigious awards and accolades including National Teaching Fellow, Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (Advance HE) and Fellow of The Textile Institute. 

Jess has been a member of The Textile Institute since 1993 and has served three terms as an elected Council member and Trustee. She held the role of Honorary Secretary between 2020-2023 and contributed extensively to the Publications and Professional Qualifications Committees. 

Her expertise and specialist knowledge spans both fashion and textiles and crosses into other disciplines like health, engineering, education, and business. This is evidenced through her sustained publication portfolio which demonstrates high quality research with impact for the commercial and wider Higher Education sector. Jess is particularly interested in contributing to shaping the future of Higher Education through design challenge-led learning integrating academic disciplines, creating learning networks and knowledge co-creation. Her innovative approach bridges disciplines and has resulted in best-practice models for integrating interdisciplinarity into teaching and learning to develop enterprise and employability skills for higher education students which has led to innovative and valuable social assets.

The announcement also coincides with the 92nd Textile Institute World Conference 2023, taking place Monday 3 - Thursday 6 July in Huddersfield, where Jess will be chairing an industry-led session at the event with the likes of Katie Greenyer, Creative Director at Pentland Brands, and Joachim Sedelmeier, Head of Footwear Design at Paul Smith. 

Stephanie Dick, CEO of the Textile Institute, says: “The Textile Institute is delighted to welcome Professor Jess Power as Chairman. Jess has been an active member for many years and is known to many of its members worldwide. She understands the Institute and what is required to future proof the organisation. With her innovative approach to work and knowledge of the textile industry her skills will be instrumental in raising the profile of The Textile Institute, taking the organisation forward and engaging with members and industry worldwide.” 

Jess added: “This is an exciting period for the global textile and fashion industry and I am absolutely delighted and honoured to be appointed to the role of Chairman of The Textile Institute. In my role I intend to build on the solid foundations already established and push the boundaries of innovation across fashion, textiles, clothing and footwear through the working closely with our global network, sections and special interest groups.” 

The Textile Institute was set up in 1910 to promote professionalism in all areas associated with the textile industries and today has members from across art, design, economics, education, retail, engineering, fashion, marketing, production, science, and sustainability. 

She takes up the position of Chairman of The Textile Institute from Monday 3 July 2023 and will continue her full-time role at the University of Salford throughout this time.

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