Bal Dixit Lab for Advanced Materials and Fire Protection Opens at RIT

Monday, June 25, 2018 (Henrietta, New York) — For Immediate Release

On June 25, 2018, the Golisano Institute for Sustainability (GIS) at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) dedicated the Bal Dixit Laboratory for Advanced Materials and Fire Protection. The new laboratory was made possible by a $2 Million gift from Sudhakar “Bal” Dixit, the founder of Newtex.

Dixit has been a lifelong innovator in the material science field. He founded Newtex in 1978 after inventing Zetex®, the first safe and commercially viable alternative to asbestos. Dixit went on to lead Newtex for several decades, developing numerous high temperature fabrics, coatings, systems, and apparel for heat and fire protection. In 2006, Dixit stepped down from his position as CEO and continues to serve as Chairman of the Newtex Board.

Photo Credit: Alex Tong, RIT

 “As founder and CEO of Newtex, I encouraged and valued creativity and innovation, along with taking calculated risks,” Dixit said. “I believed in those days that the best way to stay ahead of the competition was to find new and better ways to solve problems.”

“I am hopeful that my gift will enable a new generation of innovators and entrepreneurs to explore, create and test materials that change their world in positive ways—much the way we tried to do at Newtex,” he added. “I couldn’t be happier that the Dixit Lab came to life here—at RIT, my alma mater—and in Rochester, N.Y., my adopted home.”

Dixit has been an active member of the Rochester community for several decades. In addition to serving on the Board of Trustees at RIT, Dixit served as Director of the Buffalo branch of the Federal Reserve and sat on the boards at Rochester General Hospital and the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce. 

The Bal Dixit Lab will drive continued material science innovation in the community where Dixit has served as a valued leader. The lab will give students and industry the opportunity to collaborate to develop and test heat and fire resistant fabrics. Advancements made possible by the Dixit Lab will benefit scientific discovery and improvements to infrastructure, human health, and public safety. The lab will become fully operational starting in the summer of 2018.

Photo Credit: Alex Tong, RIT


About Newtex

For nearly 40 years, Newtex has been a pioneer and leading global producer of high temperature materials and engineered solutions for thermal management and fire protection. Headquartered in Rochester, New York, Newtex is an ISO 9001:2015 certified, vertically integrated manufacturer of an impressive portfolio of textiles and fabricated systems for insulation and fire containment. Globally recognized textile brands include ZetexPlus®, Z-Flex®, and Z-Block™. Newtex is a minority owned, veteran-managed business that has served the US Military and leading global industries since 1978. Newtex products are proudly made in the USA.