NSF Bio-Inspired Design Workshop: Charting a Course for Computer-Aided Bio-inspired Design Research

Sun, 2011/03/20
Palto Alto Sheraton, Palo Alto, CA

Applications to attend this workshop are closed.

Bio-inspired design (BID) or biomimicry is an emerging research area in engineering design, computer science and biology that seeks to systematically mine biological knowledge to solve existing engineering problems.  However, the community of BID researchers at present is fragmented with no professional society, unifying funding source, or recurring conference meeting.  BID design research is active across many disciplines and has had important and significant results. Nevertheless, BID remains largely a research activity contained in universities, not an activity practiced by design engineers in the field.  The research-not-practice status of BID exists because most BID is the result of researchers studying a biological entity or system such that their level of understanding allows an almost direct emulation.

Of particular research interest to BID is how can we mine biology for solutions to problems for which we have no current “engineered” solution.  For example, biological solutions exhibit superior sustainability to engineered solution.  Similarly, biological solutions are complex both in their solution and the problem they solve.  As the problems solved become more complex, and the engineered solutions themselves also become more complex, perhaps biology offers insight on how to solve the problem.

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