From Sea-Sponge to Skyscraper: Bioinspired Engineering

Science for the Public: Contemporary Science Issues and Innovations

November 16, 2020 Zoom recording by Belmont Media Center, Belmont MA

Matheus Fernandes, Ph.D. student, Harvard University; Harvard John A. Paulson School for Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the Harvard Institute for Applied Computational Science. Matt Fernandes is pursuing a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics with a Masters of Science in Computational Science and Engineering.Fernandes webpage

Matt Fernandes and his colleagues at SEAS look to Nature for examples of quality engineering, And one of their investigations is attracting attention. The skeletal structure of the Venus Flower sea sponge (a.k.a. glass sponge) has a higher strength-to-weight ratio than the traditional lattice designs used for centuries in buildings and bridges. The sponge's structure can be applied to next-generation architecture and engineering design,.

“We found that the sponge’s diagonal reinforcement strategy achieves the highest buckling resistance for a given amount of material, which means that we can build stronger and more resilient structures by intelligently rearranging existing material within the structure,”

Marine Sponges Inspire the Next Generation of Skyscrapers and Bridges w/short video

Deep-Sea Sponge Skeletons Could Inspire Better Bridges

Matt Fernandez 2019 Harvard presentation on bio-inspired engineering design

Taking Building Tips from a Glass Sponge

Mechanically Robust Lattices Inspired by Deep-Sea Glass Sponges