Plenary Speakers

Chiara Daraio

Affiliation: California Institute of Technology, USA

Title of the talk: Bioinspired design of irregular architected materials with programmable properties

Short Abstract:  Biomaterials present microstructures that are geometrically irregular, but lead to optimal functional properties. However, most microstructures in man-made, architected materials 10 have been designed as periodic repetitions of selected geometrical motifs. The ability to design irregular microstructures, characterized by stochastic and non-periodic architectures, will expand the range of properties achievable in materials and further the fundamental understanding of structure-property relationships. Inspired by the growth process of biomaterials, we present a framework to design irregular architected materials that allows independent control of the 15 microstructure’s topology and geometry. We demonstrate the ability to tune elastic properties in 2D and 3D, by defining a probabilistic relationship between growth rules and mechanical behavior. Realizations of such materials display robustness against damage and controllable response to external loading. 

Short bio: Chiara Daraio is the G. Bradford Jones Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Physics at Caltech. She received her undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Universita' Politecnica delle Marche, Italy (2001) and her M.S. (2003) and Ph.D. degrees (2006) in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of California, San Diego. She joined the Aeronautics and Applied Physics departments of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in fall of 2006 and was promoted to full professor in 2010. Between 2013-2016, she served as the chair of Mechanics and Materials at ETH Zürich. Chiara received numerous awards, among them, a Presidential Early Career Award from President Obama (PECASE) and an ONR Young Investigator Award. She was selected as a Sloan Research Fellow and she is a winner of the NSF CAREER award, of the Richard Von Mises Prize and of the Hetenyi Award from the Society for Experimental Mechanics. She was nominated by Popular Science magazine among the "Brilliant 10". She serves as a Board Editor for Science (AAAS) and as an Associate Editor for the journals Multifunctional Materials (IOP), Matter (Cell Press) and Frontiers in Materials (Frontiers). 

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Aránzazu Del Campo

Affiliation: INM-Leibniz Institute for New Materials, Germany

Title of the talk: Engineered Materials with bioprogrammable functions

Short Abstract: Engineered Living Materials (ELMs) rise at the intersection of materials sciences and synthetic biology and are changing the paradigm of how materials are produced, applied and disposed. In ELMs living organisms are integrated as active components of man-made materials, with the purpose of augmenting non-living matter with life-like capabilities. ELMs provide new capabilities for bottom-up multi-materials fabrication and for programing multifunctionality by integrating sensing, growing and actuating capabilities in single devices. Moreover, ELMs present a long-term vision of evolving materials with property combinations beyond those developed synthetically and by nature. This talk will present how ELMs can impact smart construction and packaging materials, intelligent textiles, fuel cells or therapeutic devices.

Short Bio: Aránzazu del Campo is scientific director at INM-Leibniz Institute for New Materials (Saarbrücken, DE) and works in the field of bioinspired materials science. Her group develops synthetic polymer matrices for the encapsulation of cells and the bioengineering of natural tissues and functional therapeutic devices. She is the Spokesperson of the Leibniz ScienceCampus Living Therapeutic Materials.

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Mark Miodownik

Affiliation: University College London, UK

Title of the talk: Developing animate materials using a linkage fabric approach

Short Abstract: This talk reviews the goal and rationale of developing animate materials which have the ability to be active, adaptive, and autonomous. I report on our work developing animate linkage fabrics using digital design and modelling tools and the use of additive manufacturing to fabricate them. The results of our work showing the capabilities of active and adaptive mechanisms and their potential for applications in assistive technology and soft robotics will be discussed.

Short bio: Professor Mark Miodownik is the University College London Professor of Materials & Society.  He received his Ph.D in turbine jet engine alloys from Oxford University, and has worked as a materials engineer in the USA, Ireland and the UK. For more than ten years he has championed materials research that links the arts and humanities to medicine, food, engineering and materials science. This culminated in the establishment of the UCL Institute of Making where he is Director and runs the research programme. Mark is a multi-award winning author of Stuff Matters and Liquid Rules. He regularly presents BBC TV and radio programmes on materials science and engineering.  In 2018 he was awarded the Max Planck Gottingen Institutes Medal for science communication.

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Martin van Hecke

Affiliation: AMOLF Amsterdam & Leiden University, NL

Title of the talk: Pathways and Computing in Metamaterials

Short Abstract: Material bits called hysterons naturally arise in mechanical metamaterials, associated with buckling and snapping. We explore the pathways of deformations - given by sequences of bit-flips - in crumpled sheets and snapping metamaterials. We show that bit-interactions allow these systems to process information, and show examples of elementary mechanical computations such as counting.

Short Bio: Martin van Hecke is a group leader at AMOLF, Amsterdam, and a professor of physics at Leiden University. Since 2011, his research has focussed on mechanical metamaterials, from patterned elastic media to origami. In particular he has developed new design techniques to make complex metamaterials that straddle the boundary between material and machine, and that form complex patterns or can self-fold when compressed. He is a fellow of the APS and was awarded an ERC-advanced grant in 2021. He is now exploring if and how complex materials – from metamaterials to crumpled sheets – can store and process information.

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