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Learning from Nature: Structural Biological Materials and Bioinspired Design Strategies

Professor Joanna McKittrick

Structural biological materials such as mollusk shells, bone, antler, and animal horns are lightweight yet strong and fracture-resistant. These natural materials offer a plethora of ideas that can be used to fabricate bioinspired synthetic materials. The challenge is to identify methods to duplicate the arrangement of the internal structures and use engineering materials, not available in the natural world, to create new materials with enhanced mechanical properties. This presentation will discuss how natural materials achieve extraordinary mechanical properties and the new methods developed to form bioinspired materials.

Instructor: Joanna McKittrick is a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and the Materials Science and Engineering Program at UC San Diego. She is co-director of the Center for Biological, Bioinspired, and Bio-Materials. She received her BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Colorado, an MS in Materials Science and Engineering from Northwestern University, and a PhD from MIT. Her research is in luminescent materials and biological materials science.

Coordinator: Jeanne Ferrante

Course Number: OSHR-70113   Credit: 0 units

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