Biomimetics and Biomimicry in Engineering


Multifunctional Materials Manufacturing

Current projects

Undergraduate Research Projects

Every year I work with undergraduate students in their dissertation projects. The themes are porosity graded materials, lightweight structures and bioactive surfaces and microarchitecture.

Postgraduate Research Projects

Joe Holt, PhD researcher at the Centre for Doctoral Training in Embedded Intelligence: ‘Design and Manufacture of Functionally-tailored Multimaterial Structures with Embedded Intelligence’ His page is here (cohort 1). His work has recently been presented at Conferences: here and Showcase Poster

Mohammad Alqahtani, PhD researcher, ‘Bioactive engineered structures for theranostics‘. His work will be presented soon

Simon Blackwell, PhD researcher, ‘Future Manufacturing: Novel and Advanced Composites and Multifunctional Materials

Mattia Norrito, PhD researcher, ‘Engineered titanium-based alloys for bioengineering applications

Click here to find out more

Past projects

Fares Almushref, PhD researcher: ‘Porosity-engineered structures for tailored medical devices: A Biomimetic approach’ More info here. His work was published herePhD work. Graduated July 2017

Painting in the Sky the lightweight cars of tomorrow. In collaboration with Far Composites UK. Co-funded by Innovate UK. More info hereResearch project

Titanium Alloys for Aerospace and Medical Industries. Dissertation project MEng Loughborough University. Mr James Borgman (MEng MechEng) (2016-2017) UG Research 

Porosity-engineered structures for tailored medical devices- a biomimetic approach. Dissertation project Loughborough University. Mr Robert Gibbons (BEng MechEng) (2016-2017). UG Research 

Factories of the Future: revamping a manufacturing unit with the Internet of Things. Dissertation project Manufacturing Eng Loughborough University. Mr Joon Y Ooi (BEng ManEng) (2016-2017) UG Research

Benchmarking 3D Printing as a technology for parts production. Dissertation project MEng Loughborough University, Mr Robbie Shepherdson (MEng Mech Eng) (2016-2017) UG Research 

An investigation into the impact of ultrasound on the crumb quality of plain and free-from baked foodstuff.  Advanced research project MEng Loughborough University, Mr David Readman (MEng Mech Eng) (2016-2017) UG Research 

Clinical relevance of the ISO 16840-2:2007 standard for wheelchair seating cushions: This collaborative project is focused on checking the clinical relevance of the BS ISO standard 1640-2:2007 on Wheelchair seating for the assessment of physical and mechanical characteristics of devices intended to manage tissue integrity, in this case, wheelchair seat cushions. Research project

Upgrading polymeric materials: how far can we go with a little help? Dissertation project MEng Loughborough University, Mr David Readman (MEng Mech Eng) (2015-2016) UG Research 

Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Specialist Lubricants (funded by TSB and industrial contribution). KTP project that investigates the use of advanced sonication techniques to manufacture more efficiently and enhance performance of dry lubricants. Knowledge Transfer activity

Stretching out: Fabrication of 3D structures with biomimetic features (in collaboration with Dr Steven McDougall (Heriot-Watt University), and Dr Gouher Rabani (Univ of Edinburgh). EPSRC funding, HWU Alumni Fund and Chevron support). This project designed, modeled, simulated and manufactured 3D structures that could be used as structural materials for healthcare and  medical devices. Their controlled and engineered gradient of porosity makes them unique to replicate mechanical properties and functionality of human tissues. Research project

Baking with Sound (in partnership with Macphie of Glenbervie, Nortek Piezo, MONO Equipment, Fosters Bakery. TSB and industrial funding). The project will develop and commercialise a patented cutting-edge novel technology that uses ultrasound to improve the quality and nutritional value of bakery products, as well as making their production more energy-efficient. You can learn more here. Research project

Bamboo as a structural material (in partnership with Dr Ben Hughes, University of Leeds, and Engineers without Borders – UK Research): Bamboo, as well as other giant grasses, is highly regarded in Far East Asia as a structural material because of its extraordinary mechanical properties, i.e. bends without breaking. Large elastic deformation and flexibility values are derived of its internal porous structure and the presence of internodes. This project aims to study how and why bamboo behaves like it does and how we can re-engineer its structural mechanisms to use in other engineering applications. You can view our seminar on this topic here: Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Q&A. Research project

Optimization of the assembly procedure for a low cost housing solution – MSc in Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Management, Mr Changxi Huang,  (2015) Postgraduate Research project

The Construction of a modern Chladni Patterns generator – MSc in Mechanical Engineering, Mr Andrew Mackenzie (2014) Postgraduate Research project

Membrane Technology for skin substitutes. Graduating year MEng Loughborough University, Mr Simeon Sidey (MEng Mech Eng) (2014-2015) UG Research project

Embedding biosensors made of biodegradable materials into bone tissue engineering scaffolds –  MSc in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering & Management, Mr Christos Menekos (2014) Postgraduate Research project

How structure affects mechanical properties of natural materials. 3rd year MEng Loughborough University, Mr Kamran Kausar (BEng Mech Eng) (2014-2015) UG Research project

Porosity Engineered Ceramic Structures for Tailored Medical Applications. 3rd year MEng Loughborough University, Mr Matt Hoffman de Visme (MEng Mech Eng) (2014-2015) UG Research project

Exploring the Chladni Patterns. 3rd year MEng Loughborough University, Ms Gurpreet Ghataore (MEng Mech Eng) (2014-2015) UG Research project

Illuminating waterbirths: rapid prototyping and development of an illuminated mirror for waterbirths (with Univ of Edinburgh, and Heriot-Watt. Funded by the Edinburgh & Lothians Health Foundation): developed, designed and manufactured a prototype mirror with an integral light source suitable for use in water births that permits the individual mother-to-be to experience a better and more dignified labour, facilitated by allowing the midwife to make observations at a distance and from an hygienic position about the water outside the birthing pool. Researchers: Mark Robson and Natacza Johnson. Knowledge Transfer activity

Porosity-engineered structures for tailored medical devices- a biomimetic approach. 3rd year MEng Loughborough University. Mr Alexi Gerolemou (MEng MechEng) (2013-2014). Mr Chris Cheseldine (MEng MechEng) (2015-2016). Mr Robert Gibbons (BEng MechEng) (2016-2017). UG Research project

Integration of existing technologies for the optimisation of a biomimetic orthopaedic device.  3rd year MEng Loughborough University. Mr Simeon Sidey (MEng MechEng) (2013-2014). UG Research project

A biomimicry approach to seat design. 3rd year Product Engineering Design Loughborough University Mr Daniel Wo (BEng PDE) (2013-2014). UG Research project

Engineered structures with enhanced porosity control for bioengineering applications. 4th year MEng HWU. Mr Ross Bonallo (BEng MechEng), Mr Hugh Conlon (BEng MechEng) [Awarded 1st prize in the MechEng Presentations Day] (2012-2013). UG Research project

Flat-packing strategies for disaster aid bamboo structures. 4th year MEng HWU. Mr Garry Steel (MEng MechEng) (2012-2013). UG Research project

The impact of structure on mechanical properties of natural materials. 4th year BEng HWU. Mr Andy Hillier (BEng MechEng) (2012-2013). UG Research project

Development of a novel device for control of larvae of the dengue mosquito Aedes aegypti in water storage containers, (in collaboration with Xeroshield Ltd. Funded by the Scottish Funding Council via Interface). Summer 2012. We have developed a prototype for a device which will use an innovative strategy to mosquito pest control that uses no chemicals or biological agents. Xeroshield is taking the device to a new stage of product development before field tests are carried out in several tropical and subtropical countries. Researcher: Mr Zeyad AlSultan. Knowledge Transfer activity

Generation of porosity controlled materials with engineered mechanical properties for structural applications. 4th year MEng project HWU. Ms Emma Hamilton (MEng Mech Eng) Awarded 1st prize in the MechEng Presentations Day, Mr John McLaughlin (BEng Mech Eng) Awarded 1st prize in the MechEng Presentations Day, Mr Alan Cheater (BEng Mech Eng) (2011 – 2012). UG Research project

Bamboo as a structural material: thermal aspects of the design. 4th year MEng project HWU. Mr Sean Paterson (BEng Mech Eng) (2011 – 2012). UG Research project

Cushions and foams for the Healthcare Sector: design and optimisation of support structures. 4th year MEng project HWU. Mr Neil Crossan (BEng Mech Eng) and Ms Kathrin Scharfenberger (ERASMUS student) (2011 – 2012). Dissertation project Loughborough University. Mr Adam Dale (BEng MechEng) (2015-2016) UG Research project

Advanced Food Emulsions (Scottish Crucible project, a joint project with Dr Clare Taylor (Edinburgh Napier Univ), Dr Tiffany Wood (Univ of Edinburgh) and Dr Nimesh Mody (Univ of Aberdeen)) 2011:  we worked in the field of food processing (i.e. emulsions) to provide a novel method  for the sustainable manufacture of healthy, naturally-derived foods with improved shelf-life.  Emulsions are made extensively in the food industry in products ranging from condiments and cooking sauces, dairy products and dairy substitutes, to pre-baking mixtures for cakes, biscuits and desserts sold to retailers providing ‘freshly-baked’ goods. For a summary of our findings: Crucible Emulsion Poster. Research project

Building bridges for bones: NiTiporo. Copying natural structures for tailored spinal scaffolds and implants (Scottish Research Council, Futures Scotland, in partnership with Prof S Bordas, Univ of Cardiff and Dr W Chrzanowski, Univ of Sydney). More info can be found here. Research project

A biomimetic approach to harnessing energy from light – MSc Energy project – Mr Nicolas Salort (2011). Learning from natural organisms, such as plants and flowers, how they collect energy from light is a very interesting approach. For example, understanding what drives a sunflower to follow the movement of the sun is an opportunity to optimise solar devices and build more sophisticated tracking systems. The main aims of this project are to understand how the movement mechanism works in the natural world, and translate that into a mechanical device that should mimic the behaviour and movement of the sunflower. Postgraduate Research project

Checking the clinical relevance of BS ISO standard 1640-2:2007 Wheelchair seating – part 2: Determination of physical and mechanical characteristics of devices intended to manage tissue integrity – Seat cushions. – Summer project – Jens Boeckx (2011). UG Research project

Tidal energy device in partnership with E&H Builders – MSc Energy project – Mr C. Magnus Blomquist & Mr Adrian Carnegie (2011). Design, simulation and manufacture of a tidal energy harvesting device. A novel renewable energy solution with a minimal aesthetic impact and maximum efficiency. Postgraduate Research project

Aluminium structures with a controlled porosity – Final year BEng project HWU, Mr Anthony Buchoux (2010 – 2011). UG Research project

Energy efficiency in a bamboo housing solution – 4th year MEng project HWU, Mr Robert Morton (2010 – 2011). UG Research project

Biomimetic solution for cool storage – 4th year MEng project HWU, Mr Iain Downie (2010 – 2011). Awarded 1st prize in the MechEng Presentations Day. UG Research project

Shape morphing of aircraft wings utilising shape memory alloys – 4th year MEng project HWU, Mr Alasdair McKean (2010 – 2011). Awarded 1st prize in the MechEng Presentations Day. UG Research project

Sonication for texture refinement of emulsions– summer 2010- : Ms Alexis Hereen, 3rd yr (Hons) Biology at University of Edinburgh. This project investigated the irradiation on emulsions in order to control their texture. UG Research project

Hexagon-base huts as low-cost housing solution in Pabal (Pune, India) – acad yr 2009-2010 – Mr Kyle Toole, Mr Pavel Divis, and Mr Gavin Leake, MEng 5th year project for Product Development Partnership in DMEM, Univ Strathclyde. UG Teaching project

Foam Sonication. Industrial alliance with AWE plc. (2005-2006): The aim of this project was to investigate the effects of ultrasound as porosity inhibitor on the types of foam used by AWE.  Knowledge Transfer activity

PhD Thesis (2008): “Generation of Heterogeneous Cellular Structures by Sonication”. Carmen Torres-Sánchez, PhD in Mechanical Engineering, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. The thesis can be viewed and downloaded here: PhD work

Torres-Sanchez C., Corney J.R., “Porosity tailoring mechanisms in sonicated polymeric foams”, the IOP Journal of Smart Materials and Structures, 2009, 18, pp.104001. Featured article in this issue: Read here Link to Journal

Torres-Sanchez C., Corney J.R., “Toward Functionally Graded Cellular Microstructures”, ASME Journal of Mechanical Design, 2009, vol. 131, issue 9, p. 91011. DOI: 10.1115/1.3158985. Link to Journal

Torres-Sanchez, C, “Experiences of International teaching staff in UK Higher Education Institutions”, C-SAP Publications, The Higher Education Academy, Sociology, Anthropology and Politics, accepted for publication in Summer 2009

Jagadeesan P., Wenzel J., Corney J.R., Yan X.T., Sherlock A., Torres-Sanchez C., Regli W., “Geometric Reasoning via Internet CrowdSourcing”, paper accepted for the 2009 SIAM/ACM Joint Conference on Geometric and Physical Modeling, 5th – 8th October, San Francisco, California, CA

Torres-Sanchez C., Corney J.R., “Identification of formation stages via electrical resistivity measurements in a polymeric foam customised by sonication”, Journal of Polymer Research, 2009, vol. 16, issue 5, p. 461-470. DOI: 10.1007/s10965-008-9249-4. Link to journal

Jagadeesan P., Wenzel J., Corney J.R., Yan X.T., Sherlock A., Torres-Sanchez C., Regli W., “Towards Content-based Indexing of 3D CAD data with Internet Crowdsourcing”, paper submitted to the PLM 09, 6th International Conference on Product Lifecycle Management, 6th -8th July 2009, Bath, UK

Torres-Sanchez C., Corney J.R., “Simulation of the Acoustic Environment for the Manufacture of Graded Porosity Materials by Sonication”, Proceedings of the COMSOL Conference, 4th – 6th November 2008, Hannover, Germany, ISBN: 978-0-9766792-3-3, COMSOL AB.

Torres-Sanchez C., Corney J.R., “Towards Functionally Graded Cellular Microstructures”, SMASIS2008-414, Procs of the ASME Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptative Structures and Intelligent Systems, SMASIS2008, 28th – 30th October 2008, Ellicott City, Maryland, USA , ISBN: 978-0-7918-3839-6, ASME Publications

Torres-Sánchez C. and Corney J.R, “Effects of ultrasound on polymeric foam porosity”, Ultrasonics Sonochemistry, 2008, vol. 15, p. 408-415. ISSN: 1350-4177. Link to Journal

Torres-Sánchez, C, “Generation of heterogeneous cellular structures by sonication, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.

Torres-Sánchez C. and Corney J.R, “Porosity engineering of polymeric foams by localised sonication”, in Proceedings of the 19th International Congress on Acoustics (ICA 2007), p.384, ISBN: 84-87985-12-2

Torres-Sánchez C, Corney J.R. and Clark, D.E.R, “CAD representations and CAM methods for porous ceramic materials”, in Proceedings of the International Conference on Porous Ceramic Materials (PCM 2005), p.25-33, ISBN: 90-5857-006-1

Torres-Sánchez C, Corney J.R and Lim T, “Manufacture of Heterogeneous materials with variable porosity: an application of sonochemistry in porous ceramic materials”, in Proceedings of the International Conference on Porous Ceramic Materials (PCM 2005), p.50, ISBN: 90-5857-006-1

Torres-Sánchez C, Corney J.R, Lim T, and Clark, D.E.R, “A survey of CAD representations and CAM methods for heterogeneous materials”, for the MC7 Conference: Functional Materials for the 21st Century, by the Royal Society of Chemistry, Edinburgh, 5-8 July 2005, UK

Torres-Sánchez C, Corney J.R and Clark, D.E.R, (Invited) “Generation of controlled porous structures by sonication”, in the workshop Proceedings of the International Workshops on Interfaces: Interfaces by Design, organised by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, CA, p.76, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, June 2005

Lim T, Medellin H, Torres-Sánchez C, Corney J.R, Ritchie J.M. and Davies J.B.C, “Edge-based identification of DP-features on Free-Form solids (Object Modelling)”, IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, 2005, 27 (6), p. 851-860. ISSN: 0162-8828

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