Fray International Sustainability Award

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Prof. Karel Kolomaznik


Professor at Tomas Bata University in Zlin, Faculty of Applied Informatics, Zlín, Czech Republic

Professor Kolomaznik, 82, was born in Kroměříž, Czech Republic, a beautiful historical town in the eastern part of the country. Its garden and Castle are listed as one of the World Heritage Sites of UNESCO (since 1998). He attended the University of Chemistry and Technology Prague, Faculty of Organic Technology, where he obtained an Engineer Degree in 1962 and Doctorate in 1967. In 1969, he joined Brno University of Technology, Faculty of Technology in Zlín as a Research Assistant, and later an Assistant Professor, Senior Lecturer and Professor. He was granted the degree of Doctor of Science in 1988 at Brno Technical University, Faculty of Civil Engineering, and Professorship in 1991. In 2001, the Faculty of Technology of Brno University of Technology was changed to the Faculty of Technology of Tomas Bata University in Zlín. In the same year, the Institute of Information Technologies (IIT) was founded at the Faculty of Technology, with Prof. Kolomazník as one of the leading researchers. In 2006, Prof. Kolomaznik joined the newly established Faculty of Applied Informatics, where he currently holds the position of Professor of Engineering. In addition to his extensive educational activities, he is the head of a research group dealing with optimization of technological processes particularly in the field of valorization of waste generated by the tanning, leather and food processing industries. His rich research career has been devoted mainly to the following areas:

- Indirect modeling of manufacturing processes for natural and synthetic polymers in view of their rationalization and optimization.
- Development and implementation of recycling technologies for potentially hazardous waste of the meat, food and leather industries.
- Control algorithms of chemical reactors in the production of regenerated tanning salts through oxidation-reduction reactions.
- Transport phenomena in polymer systems.
- Optimization of manufacturing processes in the leather and textile industries.
- Development of modified aminoplasts from protein hydrolyzates.
- Production of biodiesel from waste fats and oils generated by the tanning, food and textile industries.

He is an active member of the American Leather Chemists Association (ALCA), the American Chemical Society (ACS), international consultant of the Leather Panel of UNIDO and long-time member of the International Union of Environment (IUE) Commission of International Union of Leather Technologists and Chemists Societies (IULTCS). Prof. Kolomazník has led and participated in many successful projects funded e.g. by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic, Ministry of Industry and Trade or the Ministry of Agriculture, the Czech Science Foundation, the US-Asia Environmental Partnership programme, European Commission (EU Framework Programmes), etc. (see the list of selected projects below).

In addition, he has put many of his results into industrial practice in cooperation with commercial partners from both the Czech Republic and abroad. He has had a long-term cooperation with the Eastern Regional Research Center (ERRC) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Wyndmoor, PA where he successfully applied the ammonia-free deliming of white hide. He has been an international expert in the ERRC since 1984, and an international consultant in US-AEP (US – Asia Environmental Partnership) and UNIDO in Vienna. In NIKE Inc. (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) he implemented a patented technology for the processing of manipulation waste from leather industry including the application of the products. In cooperation with the ECCO Tannery in Dongen (Netherlands) and a Mexican tannery in León he successfully tested the recycling technology of potentially hazardous chrome-tanned waste. He has been also active in industrial applications within the Czech Republic, e.g. implementation of a patented technology of a protein hydrolyzate production from animalbased organic waste in the Kortan, s.r.o. in Hrádek nad Nisou (for details see the list of selected industrial applications below).

Prof. Kolomazník is a holder of many national and international awards and appreciations. In 1998 he was awarded the Rolex Award for Enterprise and so far remains the only Czech holder of said award. In 1977 he and his colleagues received the EUREKA Golden Medal in the 32nd World Exhibition in Brussels, and in the same year the Prize of the Minister of Agriculture of Belgium. In 2009 he was awarded the prestigious Alsop Award of the American Leather Chemists Association for outstanding contribution for the American Leather Chemists Association. On the national level, he is a holder of the City of Zlín Award (in 2000), for his globally recognized contribution to the solution of contemporary ecological problems, particularly for the invention of progressive technologies of processing of leather waste, and for excellent representation of the city of Zlín in the world scientific community. He has also ranked three times among the top ten most distinguished personalities of the Zlín Region (2008, 2009 and 2014).

In 2014, he was awarded the "Ceska hlava" (Czech Brain) Award for 2014, in the category: Invention Award – Natural Sciences. "Ceska hlava" is the most prestigious award in the field of science and innovation in the Czech Republic.

In October 28, 2018 he was awarded the Medal of Merit by the President of the Czech Republic in the field of Science and Education.

Prof. Karel Kolomaznik, Receiving the Fray International Award from Dr. Florian Kongoli at FLOGEN SIPS 2022

Dr. Florian Kongoli congratulating Prof. Karel Kolomaznik on his award at FLOGEN SIPS 2022

Prof. Karel Kolomaznik, Delivering his acceptance speech to Dr. Florian Kongoli during the FLOGEN SIPS 2022 ceremony

FLOGEN SIPS 2022 Awards: Dr. Karel Kolomaznik, Professor, Tomas Bata University in Zlin, Czechia