September 15, 2017
The Office of Research created the CSU Multidisciplinary Research Seminar Series to promote an environment that enables, encourages, and rewards multidisciplinary and collaborative risk taking to solve the broad challenges in our increasingly complex world. This month, Peter Niewiarowski will present a seminar titled Geckos stuck and unstuck: Can we accelerate innovation through biomimicry?
Abstract: Biomimicry/Biomimetics/Biologically-inspired design is often thought of as a largely one-way “transfer” from biology to engineering. Such a view may lead to successful technical applications, but it also circumscribes the potential of the enterprise to simultaneously fuel novel applications and advance fundamental knowledge across domains. Using gecko adhesion research as an example, I describe how I came to understand the implications of such a view. I also review current challenges in the development of a gecko inspired synthetic adhesive and discuss the development of a novel R&D platform spanning the academic-industry interface designed to integrate across disciplines and sectors such that innovation through biomimicry can be accelerated.
Speaker Bio: Peter H. Niewiarowski has been a University of Akron professor of biology and integrated bioscience since 1995 and is a founding principal investigator of UA Biomimicry Research and Innovation Center (BRIC). Peter maintains active research projects in amphibian population biology and the ecology and evolution of gecko adhesion. His primary responsibilities for UA BRIC are centered on the Biomimicry Fellowship Program particularly through close collaboration with Great Lakes Biomimicry, a non-profit organization focused on educationally driven economic development through innovation inspired by nature. Peter is also fascinated by applications of biomimicry to the Art-Science interface, organizational design, and human built and natural systems behavior.
Peter holds a B.S. in Biology from Marlboro College and a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from University of Pennsylvania.
Location: Parker Hannifin Hall 104
Time: September 15, 2017 from 12:00-1:15 pm.