This symposium is in honor of the distinguished work Prof. Karel Kolomaznik. In 1998, his lifelong scientific work and inspiring achievements in the field of recycling waste generated by the leather industry was recognized with the prestigious Rolex Award for Enterprise.
Professor Kolomaznik , 82, was born in Kromeriz, Czech Republic, a beautiful historical town in the eastern part of the country. 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. Kolomaznik 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.
Many of his research results have found application in 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 Leon 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 animal-based organic waste in the Kortan, s.r.o. in Hradek nad Nisou.
Prof. Kolomaznik is a holder of many national and international awards and appreciations. In 1998 he was awarded the Rolex Award for Enterprise for the processing and recycling of potentially hazardous chrome-tanned waste produced by the leather industry and so far remains the only Czech holder of said award.
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 October 28, 2018 he was awarded the Medal of Merit by the President of the Czech Republic in the field of Science and Education during the award ceremony on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the establishment of Czechoslovakia.
Below is a complete list of Prof. Kolomaznik's awards and honors for his lifelong educational and research achievements:
- EUREKA "Médaille d'or avec mention" for the technology "Hydrolyse des enzymes résiduelles du tannage, leur visualization et controle par ordinateur", Brussels, 11/11/1997.
EUREKA "Prix Special" accorde par M. Karel Pinxten, Ministre de l`Agriculture et des Petites et Moyennes Enterprises" for the invention of "Hydrolyse des enzymes résiduelles du tannage, leur visualization et controle par ordinateur", Brussels, 11/11/1997.
- Rolex Award for Enterprise for the processing and recycling of potentially hazardous chrome-tanned waste produced by the leather industry using innovative technology based on low-boiling alkyl amines.
An industrial unit was built in Hradek n. Nisou (Czech Republic) with the load capacity of 15 tons. The unit is still active, operated by the company Kortan Ltd.
– City of Zlin Award for excellent representation of the city of Zlín in the world scientific community.
- Certificate of Member in good standing for the year 2003, commemorating the 100th Anniversary year of The American Leather Chemists Association.
- Honorary Doctorate of Engineering awarded by The Yorker International University, Florence, Italy.
- Alsop Award of the American Leather Chemists Association for outstanding contribution for the American Leather Chemists Association. Complex recycling of chromium from solid and liquid wastes of the leather industry including proposal of automatic control algorithms of technological processes.
- Werner von Siemens Excellence Award 2012, Czech Republic (top free finalist) in category "Most significant achievement in the field of development and innovation"–proposal of a technology for complex processing of tannery waste fats (head of the research team).
– Czech Innovation, Czech Republic (top three finalists) in category Innovative Idea for the "Innovative catalytic-recycling system for biodiesel production from waste fats and oils"
- Czech Brain Award, category Invention Prize for Natural Sciences for Total processing of chromium waste produced by the Leather Industry.
- The Medal of Merit by the President of the Czech Republic in the field of Science and Education.
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).