CIRTex // ​Who We Are

David Blumenthal is the Chairman of the Steering Committee of CIRTex. He is president and CEO of Lion Brand Yarn Company, a 5th-generation family-owned-and-operated company that produces hand knitting and crochet yarns.

He is also the former President of the Hand Knitting Yarn Association and former Chairman of the Craft Yarn Council, both organizations involved in promoting awareness and consumption of craft yarns. In addition, he has been President of the Warm Up America Foundation! a nonprofit industry charity. A recipient of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Family Business category, he is on the Board of Directors of Enactus, a nonprofit international organization that promotes empowerment through student participation in entrepreneurial projects. On the Board of Governors of Shenkar for 7 years, he is a Vice President of the American Committee for Shenkar, and is the recipient of an Honorary Fellowship from the college. Married to Barbara Jolson Blumenthal, he has three children and four grandchildren.

Prof. Alva Peled is the Scientific Director of CIRTex. She is a faculty member at the Structural Engineering Department Ben Gurion University Israel. Her PhD is in Civil Engineering from the Technion, the Israel Institute for Technology. Her MSc is in Chemistry of Polymers and Textile, from the Hebrew University, Israel; and her first degree is in Textile Technology from Shenkar College. She was a Visiting Faculty at the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, Arizona State University, Visiting Faculty at the Civil Engineering Department, Purdue University, and Post-Doctoral fellow at Northwestern University Center for Advanced Cement Based Materials. Her main research area is on high-performance cement and concrete composite materials, and particularly textile reinforced concrete (TRC) having more than 100 published papers in leading journals and proceedings.  

Ayelet Karmon is the Managing Director of CIRTex. She is an architect, senior lecturer and faculty member at Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, at the Masters of Design Program. Her research focuses on textiles and soft structures and the ways they inform digital fabrication processes and material specification in architecture and design. Her teaching focuses on the implications of physical and imbedded computing on the design of the built environment, on fashion and textiles. Ayelet also works on a number of socially and environmentally driven design projects.

Karmon participated in international conferences and exhibitions where she showed work relating to material thinking, computation, architecture and textiles. Her work is based on a number of academic and industrial collaborations both in Israel and abroad. 

Ayelet holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the Technion and a Masters of Architecture from Harvard University. She is currently studying towards a PhD at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, the Department of Soil and Water Sciences where she is developing research related to the development of  artificial textile-based materials as a growing substrate for plants grown on roofs and building walls. 

The Steering Committee of CIRTex consists of:

  • David Blumenthal // Head of Steering Committee;
  • Prof Alva Peled // Scientific Director;
  • Ayelet Karmon // Managing Director;
  • Prof Yuli Tamir // Shenkar President;
  • Prof Samuel Kenig // Dean of the Faculty of Engineering;
  • Prof Yarom Vardimon // Dean of the Faculty of Design;
  • Hadas Himelshein // Head of the Textile Design Department;
  • Tami Warshavski // Head of the Innovation Center ACT Shenkar;
  • Robert Bash // Steering Committee Member. 


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