Brown University School of Engineering

Engineering Seminar: Joint Materials/Solid Mechanics

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Monday, December 11, 2017 4:00pm - 5:00pm

Lorna Gibson, Matoula S. Salapatas Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and MacVicar Fellow, MIT, will present a talk: "Feathers: Hierarchical Structure and Multifunctionality". Abstract: Feathers have a remarkable combination of properties. They are sufficiently stiff and strong to maintain the aerodynamic surface of the wing. They are excellent thermal insulators and are highly hydrophobic to keep the bird warm and dry. Their color can either attract a mate or camouflage the bird; some feathers, such as iridescent feathers, even have structural color. And feathers can even generate, suppress or collect sound. In this talk, I review the microstructural features, at different length scales, that give rise to the properties of feathers. Research: Professor Lorna Gibson studies the mechanical behavior of materials, specializing in materials with a cellular structure, such as engineering honeycombs and foams, scaffolds for regenerative engineering, and natural materials such as wood, bamboo and plant leaves and stems. She is the co-author of Cellular Solids: Structure and Properties (with MF Ashby), Metal Foams: A Design Guide, (with MF Ashby, AG Evans, NA Fleck, JW Hutchinson and HNG Wadley) and Cellular Materials in Nature and Medicine (with MF Ashby and BA Harley).