Ballantyne’s new title was awarded for excellence in research, particularly for his focus on leather manufacturing sustainability and knowledge transfer with industrial partners. He noted that the University of Northampton recognises the value of this research for its ability to directly influence the environmental sustainability of the sector.

He said: “When I started in 2017, joining the leather community was a big change but one I was looking forward to. Six years on, there are so many parts of this job that I find rewarding. It’s great to be giving back to a sector that is incredibly important as we transition to a more sustainable future.”

Professor Will Wise, Research Lead at the Institute for Creative Leather Technologies (ICLT), said: “The title of Associate Professor is awarded to academics in recognition of the contribution to their field of endeavour. In Andrew’s case, this relates to his globally recognised contributions to research which, in line with ICLT’s ethos, are then embedded into our teaching programme. He is an excellent example of an academic that is bringing his diverse research background and applying it to leather science and technology, thus maintaining ICLT’s reputation as being at the pinnacle of leather education and research.”

Anne Lama, Senior Lecturer & Deputy Head of Subject (Leather) at the ICLT, added: “Andrew is a highly experienced individual in research and academia, and a great asset to the ICLT, Fashion and Leather Team.

“Since joining the team, Andrew has achieved many accomplishments, including his contribution to the teaching and research, and awarded Associate Professorship title. Andrew has successfully delivered a KTP (Knowledge Transfer Partnership) project, and he will be presenting his paper on bisphenol research at the IULTCS congress in Chengdu.”

Finally, Vicki Dean, Head of the ICLT, added: “We are incredibly proud of our leather heritage at Northampton and thrilled that our world leading research is being recognised. The acknowledgement of Associate Professor for Dr Andrew Ballantyne is testament to his hard work, passion and dedication to leather research. As a team we are delighted for him and to have both an Associate Professor and a Professor in our area makes us immensely jubilant.”