|Bioinspiration and biomimetics are concerned with unraveling the fascinating workings of biological evolution: the resulting robust materials and “device” solutions, arrived at by blind trial and error, usually carry an impressive simplicity and elegance. What’s more, their built-in resource efficiency and sustainability are additional benefits vital for the continued existence of our environment. This symposium will highlight some outstanding examples of lessons learnt from nature, e.g. for contact, robotics, and medicine. It will focus on the science behind them and on how their application are beginning to make a difference in everyday life.
This award symposium was established to honor Professor William D. Nix and the tremendous legacy that he has developed and shared with the minerals, metals, and materials community and to highlight and promote continued progress and innovation relevant to research into the underlying mechanisms and mechanical behavior of macro-, micro-, and nanoscale materials. This symposium recognizes Professor Nix’s hallmark of combining model-driven insight with predictive capabilities for achieving elegant materials solutions.
Professor Nix’s research and seminal contributions to structural materials, thin films, and nanoscale plasticity have had significant impact on critical U.S. industries, spawned new fields of study, and motivated generations of researchers working in fields that span from aerospace to microelectronics. Breakthroughs in technologies for these critical industries depend heavily on the availability of advanced materials that can be engineered and optimized at the nanoscale. Professor Nix’s groundbreaking contributions have allowed us to characterize, understand, and predict the mechanical behavior and reliability of such materials and have been critical enablers of these key technologies.