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Friday, March 23 • 2:30pm - 4:00pm
A Functional Taxonomy to Connect Engineering Design to Biological Solutions

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Engineers typically do not get formal training in biomimicry and it is not reasonable to expect that experience will eventually result in DaVinci-like knowledge of nature. A standardized approach to finding nature-based solutions may bridge the gap and encourage adoption in academic curricula.

Function-mapping offers an intuitive method to connect engineering needs to potential biological (and traditional) solutions. A standard methodology for defining engineering functions can be used to describe the capabilities offered by nature. If design engineers can express technical problems in these same functional terms, they will then be able to connect their problem/need not only to known man-made solutions, but also seamlessly explore relevant biological solutions. Several examples are illustrated in the paper and a comparison is made to the taxonomy employed by the Biomimicry Institute (www.asknature.org).

The authors believe the proposed approach can greatly facilitate the integration of biomimicry into the engineering design process.


Darrell Kleinke

Darrell Kleinke has over twenty-five years of industry experience in the design and development of electro-mechanical systems. As a tenure-track facultymember of the UDM Mechanical Engineering Department, he has adopted a program of instruction that UDM has branded \"Faces on Design.\"The guiding principle is that student project work is more meaningful and fulfilling when students have the opportunity to see and experience thefaces of real, live... Read More →

Terri Lynch-Caris

Terri Lynch-Caris is an Assistant Professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering at Kettering University. She earned her doctoral degree in Industrial & Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan in 2000 after working for Ford Motor Company and General Motors. She earned her Master\'s from Purdue University and Bachelor\'s from Kettering University. She holds a license from the State of Michigan as a Professional Engineer in... Read More →

Jonathan Weaver

Jonathan Weaver is Professor and Chair of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Detroit Mercy. Weaver teaches a variety of courses, many of them focused on innovation, creativity, and the product development process. He holds a BS degree from Virginia Tech, and MS and PhD degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He serves as the co-curriculum director for the Master\'s in Product Development Program, is a Kern Entrepreneurship... Read More →

Friday March 23, 2012 2:30pm - 4:00pm
Mason II