Virginia Tech Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology
Workshop on Biological Collections as a Resource for Technical Innovation  - May 9-10,2016 - Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History - Washington, DC
Workshop on Biological Collections as a Resource for Technical Innovation  - May 9-10,2016 - Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History - Washington, DC


Biological evolution can be seen as an optimization process that operates on a scale that by far exceeds any human capabilities. The outcomes of this optimization process are stored in the innumerable variations on biological form and function that can be found across the many millions of biological species that make up the world's past and present biodiversity. The large natural history collections are the best libraries of the world's biodiversity that have been established so far with the largest collections housing well about 100 million specimens. Due to the vast amount of optimization results that are stored in these specimens, natural history collections could become a "natural resource" for technological innovation. This requires, however, that methods are established for reading these libraries. The workshop will discuss the relationship between biodiversity and technical innovation, methods that can be used for the engineering characterization of biological specimens, methods for the extraction of engineering knowledge from large amounts of specimen data, and the potential impact of the extracted engineering knowledge.

Agenda items:

  1. The role of Biodiversity for bioinspired engineering
  2. Engineering characterizations of natural history specimens
  3. Extraction of engineering knowledge from large amounts of specimen data
  4. Potential impact of evolutionary optimization results on engineering


Monday, May 9

6:00pm: welcome reception, Westin Arlington

Tuesday, May 10
7:45 take Metro from Westin Arlington to National Museum of Natural History
8:30 - 9:00 breakfast, National Museum of Natural History
9:00 - 9:45 engineering potential of biodiversity
session chair: Nicole Abaid, Virginia Tech
Rolf Mueller, Virginia Tech - Engineering Value Created by Evolution
Carol Butler, National Museum of Natural History - NMNH Collections & Their Research Uses
Thomas Speck, Freiburg University - Living Plant Collections in Botanic Gardens as Sources for Biomimetic Research
9:45 - 10:30 engineering analysis of biological function
session chair: Sunny Jung, Virginia Tech
Sheila Patek, Duke University - Evolutionary Analysis is Essential for Principled Biomimetics
Daniel Goldman, Georgia Tech - Body Shape in Sand-Swimming
Ty Hedrick, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - Animal Flight, PIV, & Collective Behavior
10:30 - 11:00 coffee break
11:00 - 11:45 data
session chair: Ashok Goel, Georgia Tech
Paul Kimberly, National Museum of Natural History - NMNH Digitization: Past, Present and Future
D. Jennings & Renato Figueiredo, University of Florida - iDigBio: A Network Partner for Specimen-Based Research and Data
Wenting Xiong, IBM TJ Watson Research Center, Leveraging Digitized Natural History Collections using Watson Cognitive computing
11:45 - 12:30 impact
session chair: Jonathan Boreyko, Virginia Tech
Kripa Varanasi, MIT - Translation of Bioinspired Engineering Insight
Ishwar Puri, McMaster University - "The potential impact of bioinspiration in an era of disruptive ubiquitous connectivity"
Cathy Gallagher & Randy Ataide, Point Loma Nazarene University - Identifying the Key Enterprise Metrics for Determining the Financial Impact of Bioinspiration
12:30 - 13:45 lunch
Q?rius Theater
13:45 - 14:45 breakout I - brainstorming (2 for each theme)
14:45 - 15:15 coffee break
15:15 - 16:15 break out II
16:15 - 16:30 settle into/setup in auditorium
16:30 - 17:30 final plenary session

facilitator: James Simmons, Brown University
scribe/presenter: David Hu, Georgia Tech

facilitator: Peko Hosoi, MIT
scribe/presenter: Abe Stroock, Cornell University

facilitator: Charless Fowlkess, University of California Irvine
scribe/presenter: Cindy Grimm, Oregon State University

facilitator: Roop Mahajan, Virginia Tech
scribe/presenter: C. Gallagher?

afternoon: breakout discussion sessions
19:00 - 21:00 dinner (with talks), Westin Arlington
Bob Full - Bringing Museum Specimens to Life: Opportunities and Challenges to Bio-inspired Engineering

A. Bejan - The Physics of Life & Evolution

Virginia Tech - Invent the Future Continuing & Professional Education @ Virginia Tech  

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