The Biomimicry Fellowship program is designed to train PhDs at the interface of biology with other disciplines and serves as a perfect framework for earning a PhD in the emerging area of Biomimicry. Through our partnership with faculty and other professional resources such as the Biomimicry Institute, Biomimicry Fellows benefit from a PhD committee composed of individuals from an array of complimentary disciplines, including Design (Cleveland Institute of Art and others), Engineering, Business, Art, and Biology (as well as other Natural and Social Sciences). Furthermore, core coursework is tailored specifically to Biomimicry training.
The program is built on a one-of-its-kind corporate-university Biomimicry research and training collaboration. Each fellow is linked to an external sponsor to form unique partnership in research. For more information on the program, please click here.
The Biomimicry fellows co-author a blog at Germinature.com.
Current Biomimicry Fellows
Rebecca, from Ohio, is investigating the connection between biomimicry education and conservation actions, and she studies vascular plant tolerances to determine viability for growth on Mars.
Sarah, from California, is researching the influence of arthropod biomaterials and structure on biomechanics.
Stephen, from California, seeks to understand fish maneuverability and uncover results that could be useful in simplifying the control of autonomous and remotely operated underwater vehicles.
Banafsheh, from Iran, splits her time between two sponsors. At ALRW, she is working on machine learning techniques such as neural-networking for prediction of harmful blue-green algae as well as dead-zones in Lake Erie. At TIES, she creates K-12 curriculum that uses biomimicry, helping students to rediscover nature while learning about abstract topics in math, physics and programming.
Daniel, from Ohio, is studying fundamental adhesion, non-equilibrium mechanics, surface properties, surface/interface phenomenon, and analytical and numerical modeling.
Sarah, from Ireland, is integrating biomimicry into existing R&D innovation processes and she studies the hurdles that industry faces during the adoption and implementation of biomimicry into their innovation processes.
Ariana, from Portugal, is contributing to research and conceptual phases of open innovation, and systems inspired by leaf morphology for industrial, architectural or makerspace application.
Kelly, from Ohio, is working to improve coastal ecosystem resiliency and land use impacts on Lake Erie and other nearshore waterways while boosting water innovation in the region.
Lamalani, from California, is searching for ways to detect harmful algal blooms in drinking source water and integrate biomimicry into STEM education curriculum.
Elena, from Cleveland, prototypes biomimetic solutions at sponsor project sites and prepares design guidelines, protocols and policy frameworks for biomimetic process integration. She also designs and leads workshops to integrate the biomimetic process for shoreline stabilization, coastal aquatic habitat enhancement, and urban stormwater management.
Colleen, from Minnesota, is digitizing data from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s entomology archives and thus enabling NASA researchers to access entomology data for nature-inspired applications to aerospace.
Michael, from Tennessee, focuses on understanding the role of functional groups in caddisfly underwater adhesion.
Past Biomimicry Fellows
Class of 2017
Emily, from Massachusetts, applied biomimicry to R&D of energy-efficient soap dispensers, protective topical treatments, versatile dispenser brackets, and infection control products / processes. Her dissertation made a case for biomimicry in business, providing empirical rationale for reimagining R&D.
Bor-Kai (Bill) Hsiung
Class of 2017
Bill, from Taiwan, studied structural color in blue tarantulas and rainbow peacock spiders to inform design on non-iridescent electronic displays and non-toxic, non-fading colored coatings.
Class of 2017
Daphne, from Belgium, studied UV-reflective properties of calcium carbonate-based biomaterials, like avian eggshells, to provide insights for development of industrial materials that don’t degrade in sunlight, and building envelopes that reflect incident light, keeping occupants cool and reducing air conditioning expenses.
Class of 2018
Sebastian, from Germany, investigated wastewater desalination and purification inspired by biological processes, such as active trans-membrane water transport by aquaporin protein channels.