Biomimetics and Biomimicry in Engineering

Archive for the ‘Seminars and Keynotes’ Category

Transition Zone Training: 2017 Summer School #SSEI17

In Info, Seminars and Keynotes on 2017/06/25 at 6:34 pm

The Transition Zone Training Programme is holding a Summer School in Loughborough University London from the 3rd to the 6th July in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London.

Innovation insights for the digital workforce of tomorrow is the 4-day event organised by the EPSRC CDT in Embedded Intelligence in partnership with the Digital Economy Network and attended by the UK community of practice in Digital Manufacturing, Robotics, Big Data, Cybersecurity and the Internet of Things.

location

A much-provoking Panel discussion to address the digital skills gap and the role PhD students play in the knowledge economy will kick-start the #SSEI17: ‘Aligning skills to jobs for the digital future of the knowledge society’. Chaired by Dr S Barr, head of The Manufacturer, brings together industrialists and entrepreneurs (the MTC, HSSMI, Block Solutions), postgraduate educators (Loughborough University) and funding bodies (EPRSC). Seminars, workshops and practicals will be facilitated by world-class innovators and practitioners who are bringing to us the latest in Cybersecurity, Robotics, Computational Thinking, Data visualisation, Film making, and fostering of Creative thinking through Serious Games. Attending to the ethos of a Transition Zone activity, there will be time for the honing of effective communication skills focusing on personal brand.

The programme for the event can be viewed here: CDT-EI Summerschool programme 2017 prf3.2

You can follow the event online: on Facebook: CDT-EI, DEN Digital Economy CDT Network; on Twitter: @cdt-ei, @decdtnetwork, @carmentorres

‘Robots at the Movies’: The portrayal of robots and androids in contemporary films

In Seminars and Keynotes on 2017/05/17 at 4:57 pm

Automata, robots and androids have been a creation and fascination for humans over centuries.  From Maria (Metropolis, 1927), R2D2 and C3PO (Star Wars, 1977), WALL-E (2008), The Terminators (1984, 1991, 2003) to Transformers (2007), they have been portrayed as our friends, adversaries, alien to almost human, invaders and enslavers or as our saviours and trusted companions. These portrayals in the movies have reflected and perhaps influenced our opinion of them. Join us for an amusing evening reviewing our relationship with these technologies as reflected in their portrayal in the movie industry.

A family-fbadgeriendly event brought to you by the Centre for Doctoral Training in Embedded Intelligence in support of The UK Robotics Week 

Presented by Alan Seaman, film expert and stand-up comedian

Date: 28th June 2017, 6.00-7.30pm

Venue: Cope Auditorium, Loughborough University

Register here: (free but ticketed) https://robotsatthemovies.eventbrite.co.uk

robot-close-up

‘Robots at the Movies’: The portrayal of robots and androids in contemporary films

In Seminars and Keynotes on 2017/03/28 at 4:13 pm

Automata, robots and androids have been a creation and fascination for humans over centuries.  From Maria (Metropolis, 1927), R2D2 and C3PO (Star Wars, 1977), WALL-E (2008), The Terminators (1984, 1991, 2003) to Transformers (2007), they have been portrayed as our friends, adversaries, alien to almost human, invaders and enslavers or as our saviours and trusted companions. These portrayals in the movies have reflected and perhaps influenced our opinion of them. Join us for an amusing evening reviewing our relationship with these technologies as reflected in their portrayal in the movie industry.

A family-fbadgeriendly event brought to you by the Centre for Doctoral Training in Embedded Intelligence in support of The UK Robotics Week 

Presented by Alan Seaman, film expert and stand-up comedian

Date: 28th June 2017, 6.00-7.30pm

Venue: Cope Auditorium, Loughborough University

Register here: (free but ticketed) https://robotsatthemovies.eventbrite.co.uk

robot-close-up

Manufacturing Functionality: from SFF to truly SFF

In Seminars and Keynotes on 2016/04/05 at 8:13 pm

Solid Free Form (SFF) fabrication, also known as Rapid prototyping (RP) or Layered Manufacturing (LM), creates arbitrary 3D shapes directly from Computer-Aided Design (CAD) data. It has been around for two decades now. From its early age it demonstrated tremendous advantages for the Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) industry compared to traditional manufacturing methods such as CNC machining or casting. The venues for exploration appeared endless until users started to hit a ceiling; the name ‘rapid’ became almost ironic because the layering process is a very slow one, the palette of materials to handle is limited and the advertised label ‘net-shape’ is ‘near-shape’ – on a lucky day-. We are now over the hype of SFF, RP and LM but still have needs to create heterogeneous structures that have intrinsic multifunctionality. The Multifunctional Materials Manufacturing Lab in Loughborough University works on new manufacturing methods that allows a truly free form fabrication and the engineering of composition and structure for the creation of materials that are smart, responsive to their environment and possess synergistic properties that enhance their behaviour. These types of high performance materials offer great promise in fields such as bioengineering and transport (i.e. automotive and aerospace).

Venue: Department of Physics, Universitá degli Studi di Milano, Aula Consiglio. Italy

20160405_UnivdegliStudidiMilano

The Future Engineer podcast engineer

In Seminars and Keynotes on 2015/02/10 at 11:23 am

STEM XX 016 episode is on the importance of multidisciplinary engineering, the power of positive thinking and biomimetics – learning from nature to solve our technical problems.

If you have ~30min to spare, have a listen and please leave comments below and tell me what you think. Thanks!

You can listen to it here and download it here.

Mathematical Modelling of the use of Ultrasound to Tailor Polymers

In Info, Seminars and Keynotes on 2015/01/27 at 12:13 pm

Materials whose internal porosity can be tailored during the manufacturing process could be of use in a wide range of applications such as bone scaffolds (to help new bone grow from stem cells).  A recent method for achieving such a manufacturing process involves the acoustic irradiation of a reacting polymer foam which then results in a final sample with a graded porosity.  This talk will present the first mathematical model of this process. The polymerisation process is complex involving, for example, bubble dynamics, evolving rheology, two phases, reaction kinetics, and gas diffusion.  In addition, the model has to include the effects of the irradiating ultrasound.  The model I will present treats the evolving fluid as a multimode Oldroyd B system and will focus on a single moving bubble boundary using a Lagrangian frame of reference.  After looking at the role that inertia has on the dynamics of the system, a multi-bubble model is constructed that generates a heterogeneous bubble size distribution shaped by the ultrasonic standing wave pattern.

My colleague Dr Tony Mulholland, from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Strathclyde, will present this remarkable piece of work on the 27th January 2015 at 1pm in venue: S.1.73 (Materials Department, Loughborough University). Join us if you can.

‘Naturally inspired manufacturing – a blueprint for research’, by Prof Marc Desmulliez

In Seminars and Keynotes on 2013/05/17 at 6:26 pm

We are honoured at the Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering to welcome Prof Marc Desmulliez to the School Seminars to talk to us about nature-inspired manufacturing.

The general public is fascinated by technologies and products inspired from biology because of the deep links that people have with nature. His talk will present a blueprint for research in manufacturing in this area. Examples from his own research work will be provided that describe the methodology proposed: this includes the use of chlorophyll as an electron donor material for electronics manufacture, the use of Coulombic forces for creating contoured structures and hollow microstructures, the use of TRIZ to set up a method of capturing the essence of natural manufacturing processes.

The seminar will be held on Wednesday, 22nd May at 2.00pm, in T.1.42/43 (Wolfson Building). Everyone is welcome.

Professor Marc Desmulliez is a professor of microelectronics at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. He is the Head of the Research Institute in Signals, Sensors and Systems (ISSS), and the Director of the MIcroSystems Engineering Centre (MISEC). He is an electrical engineer/physicist with more than 20 years of experience in optoelectronics, microsystems engineering and advanced manufacturing technologies. He has worked extensively in the design, manufacture and test of miniaturized sensors and microfluidic systems. He founded the MicroSystems Engineering Centre (MISEC), which is the 4th largest UK academic MEMS research group and specialises in non-silicon microsystems and rapid prototyping of MEMS.

Looking to access engineering expertise for your next R&D project? :: A webinar

In Knowledge Transfer, Seminars and Keynotes on 2013/03/12 at 10:21 am

Join Interface –The knowledge connection for business and Heriot-Watt University on 21st March (2pm-4pm) for this live and online event for businesses which will highlight the range of engineering expertise, new technologies and funding available within Heriot Watt University that could help your business.

Speakers:

Interface – The knowledge connection for business

Discover how to access the world class facilities and expertise available within Scotland’s academic network to develop and grow your business.

Laura Goodfellow, Senior Project Executive  – Got a business challenge? The answer could be in Scotland’s academia!

Heriot Watt University

Discover the various ways in which your business can access the engineering expertise and resources at Heriot Watt University.

Dr Carmen Torres-Sanchez – Industry-led engineering design projects for undergraduate students

Dr Dawn Beddard- Industry-led physics based projects

Dr David Flynn – KTPs: knowledge transfer goes both ways between university and companies

Professor Marc Desmulliez – Research projects with Industry in the UK and beyond

Dr Iain McEwan – Navigating your way in University for Research and Knowledge transfer

Company Spotlight

A company’s perspective! – Discover the success that three businesses have achieved from collaborating with Heriot Watt University on their engineering projects.

Mr Stephen Roberts of Nightingale Intensiv

Mr Roy MacDonald of Glenhanze

Dr Mark Zwinderman of Aboleo

Who should attend?
The event is aimed at any company in any sector, who is interested in discovering how Scotland’s academic network could support its next engineering challenge.

Participation
The online streaming will give you the opportunity to watch the presentations live, participate in the discussion forum and ask questions from the comfort of your own office.

Register here

 

BOOM Chemistry!!

In Seminars and Keynotes on 2012/12/10 at 12:53 pm

My collaborator Dr Asier Unciti-Broceta, from the MRC/Cancer Research Centre Edinburgh, is presenting at HWU on Wed 12th Dec, at 14:30 in William Arrol 1.11, his work on BOOM activation chemistry. We use that great idea for our developments in new anticancer strategies. Drop by to meet him on Wednesday!. Everyone welcome (whether you are a chemist or not)

Title:

Palladium-Sensitive Chemicals and Engineered Pd(0)-Containing Devices to Implement Highly-Specific Probe/Prodrug Activation in Cells and Living Systems

Abstract:

As a novel prodrug / probe approach, our group is pioneering the use of a bioorthogonal organometallic (BOOM) activation strategy to develop spatially-controlled anticancer treatments. Bioorthogonal reactions are selective chemical processes that take place in biological systems, mediated by abiotic reagents, without interfering with the biotic components of the system [1, 2]. The use of bioorthogonal protecting groups that are selectively cleaved by metal catalysis allows to chemically “mask” the functional properties of a drug / fluorescent dye to induce local activation by a catalyst-based “activating device”. We are currently investigating the use of Pd(0)-containing implants (the “activating device”) and the chemical modification of clinically-used anticancer drugs with Pd(0)-sensitive chemical groups to make “BOOM-activated prodrugs”. In this talk the seminal works published in this area [2, 3] and our last results will be presented.

References:

[1] Prescher&Bertozzi. Nature Chem Biol 2005, 1, 13–21; [2] Unciti-Broceta et al. Nature Protocols 2012, 7, 1207–18; [3] Yusop, Unciti-Broceta et al. Nature Chem 2011, 3, 241–245.

Date: 12/12/2012

Venue: Heriot-Watt WA1.11

Start: 14:30 (1hr) and coffee/biscuits

Serious Games

In Seminars and Keynotes on 2012/05/20 at 5:45 pm

Being playful was never so productive.

We have felt privileged to have Dr Poul Kyvsgard Hansen at Heriot-Watt for 3 days to train us as Lego ‘Serious Play’ facilitators.

From childhood we are hardwired to tell stories and use our hands to construct stories and metaphors. The current educational system might teach us out of creativity, so it is important that we go back to basics to retrieve those dormant skills with which to face the complex problems ahead of us.

We are looking into Lego to embed in our Engineering Design & Manufacture courses communication and strategy planning content.

Lego Serious Play has been used broadly in Scandinavian countries (lead by Dr Hansen’s team) as a tool for strategic management and innovation enhancement.

We run a little dry-run workshop on ‘what do researchers do’, and this was the insightful result:

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Lego mini exercise – What do researchers do

(from top left to bottom right): Research for Ray is about developing new technologies and making the most of them (can you tell he works with VR equipment!?); Poul’s take was a circle which symbolises the iterative nature of research, from the knowledge acquisition, through to reflection, a hypothesis testing; Siva saw research as finding the right ‘tree’ after having to browse through many different bushes (and the flag on the miniman represents the baggage of knowledge the researcher brings on); Theo’s main points were ‘juggling’ many different ‘levers’ and knowledge dissemination; Tom thinks it is all about isolating the problem you want to tackle, and the board behind is all about dissemination, and telling the wider audience what you do. The left corner photo is the Pro-Lego set we will use in our teaching from this semester onwards.

We are bound to have a lot of fun with our students and our partner companies joining us for the Engineering Design programme. Click here if you would like to hear more, and/or get in touch.