Biomimetics and Biomimicry in Engineering

‘Our Global Future’

In Comment, Knowledge Transfer on 2011/03/05 at 5:46 pm

Just back from the Engineers without Borders UK Research Conference. It was held in the Royal Academy of Engineering, in London. Beautiful venue. Easy to reach and you can check the time on the Big Ben itself.

Iain Downie came along, as was presenting the work we are doing on a biomimetic cool box.

The Conference was really interesting in both research (i.e. interesting concepts of fridges in the Sahara, waste management in Malawi and wind turbines comparison in Netherlands, among others) and education (i.e. embedding the global dimension and sustainability in the Engineering curriculum) arenas.

Eve Walkden (Uni of Southampton) gave a really inspiring presentation comparing the mechanical features and forces/reactions of an I-beam and a tree trunk (and branches), and on the alignment of fibres. A tree is a massive cantilever, did you know that?

Rebecca Drake and Daniel Miles were with me when we presented the ‘bamboo hut‘ project, the implementation in India, the capacity building ingredient of this project, and the optimisation of the design we are currently working on.

It was important for me that both Rebecca and Daniel were there, because the point i was trying to make is that design and planning is all very well. Optimisations and improvements. You can go on forever and never build anything. However, they went to India with our designs in their backpacks and built it. I am very proud of them.

Now that we are working on the next generation of bamboo hut (using their feedback), i hope this can also be tested in India, with the locals, in the near future. I will come back to these lines to report all about it.



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