Data & Materials Chalk & Talk Seminar Series: Speaker: Jeannette Yen

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Date:               Thursday, October 29, 2015           

Time:              11am-12pm             
Place:              Klaus Classroom 1447 (Please note that because this has to be held in a classroom, lunch will not be served at this particular talk)               

 Speaker:          Dr. Jeannette Yen, Director, Center for Biologically Inspired Design (CBID)


Biologically Inspired Materials Design: Hierarchical Structures inNature      


Living organisms serve as working prototypes of designs that can inform us of how nature practices an economy of materials. The hierarchical patterns of nature are diverse and fascinating. The question is: how does nature build such structures and can we mimic the methods to “expand” the performance of materials? Hierarchical analyses searches for design principles by comparing how similar functions are achieved by organisms at various scales, in different habitats, or by different lineages. Biologically Inspired Design (BID) is an emerging cross-disciplinary domain, where scientists, engineers and designers combine forces “to study and distill principles and functions found in biological systems that have been developed through evolution” and apply this knowledge “to produce novel and exciting basic technologies and new approaches to solving scientific problems”. This synthetic framework can improve the partnership between nature and humans and infuse sustainability into technology design.


Dr. Jeannette Yen is the Director of the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Center for Biologically Inspired Design (CBID). The goals of CBID are to bring together faculty who seek to facilitate interdisciplinary research and education for innovative products and techniques based on biologically-inspired design solutions.  CBID participants believe that science and technology are increasingly hitting the limits of approaches based on traditional disciplines, and Biology may serve as an untapped resource for design methodology.  Experiencing the benefits of Nature as a source of innovative and inspiring principles encourages us to preserve and protect the natural world rather than simply to harvest its products.  Jeannette team-teaches the interdisciplinary course in biologically inspired design [http://www. youtube.com/watch?v=PMlvUJ9_GSk].  She has been a Professor of Biology at Georgia Tech since 2001 with a Ph.D. in the interdisciplinary environmental science of biological oceanography where she studies how fluid mechanical and chemical cues transported at low Re flow serve as communication channels for micro-aquatic organisms, primarily zooplankton: key link in aquatic food webs. She has been to all 7 continents, including Antarctica for her research and education.


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  • Created By:Holly Rush
  • Created:10/14/2015
  • Modified By:Fletcher Moore
  • Modified:04/13/2017