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Bio-inspiration for adaptive design solution
7.2.2014
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Increasing pressures on the built environment arising from climate change, energy requirements and sustainability issues suggest looking at biology for inspiration and solutions. The ability of biological systems not only to survive their environments, but also to exploit them effectively, depends on their ability to adapt to changes. This leads to designs which have evolved over long periods of time, optimized within space and time constraints, but still capable of responding to environmental fluctuations. Although all organisms have the ability to evolve in response to pressures from the physical environment, plants offer unique possibilities for highly integrated, multifunctional bio-inspired design solutions. Inspiration from the plant kingdom has led to some of the most successful material and structural biomimetic developments such as Velcro, Lotus effect and Flectofin. Recent research projects are exploring the adaptive behavior of plant root systems and plant sensing functions. The lecture will provide an overview of the potential of biomimetics in addressing the challenge of adaptive man-made systems.

George Jeronimidis obtained his first degree and doctorate in Physical Chemistry for the University of Rome. He moved to the University of Reading in the UK in the 1970’s to work on composite materials and wood mechanics. Together with colleagues at Reading, he was involved in the early development of biomimetics as a promising research and development discipline. He is now the Director of the Centre of Biomimetics at the University of Reading, President of Biokon International and, for the past few years, Co-Director of the Emtech and Design programme at the AA.

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