Learning from Nature – Multifunctional Adaptive Metastructures by Professor Kon-Well Wang

Abstract:  In recent years, the concept of mechanical metastructures developed based on nature-inspired synergistic modular architectures has been explored. For example, some of skeletal muscle’s intriguing macroscale functionalities result from the assembly of nanoscale, cross-bridge constituents that maintain multiple metastable configurations. Inspired by these observations, recent studies investigated an idea of creating modular structures from the assembly of metastable mechanical or electrical modules, and demonstrated that such metastructures would yield valuable adaptivity, including reconfiguration of global topology, orders of magnitude change in stiffness, and tunable damping and wave propagation characteristics. In another example, inspired by the physics behind the rapid plant movements and the rich designs of origami folding, a class of multifunctional metastructure is created through exploring the innovation of origami cell-based systems, which can achieve actuation & morphing, programmable & recoverable energy absorption, and tunable acoustics & dynamics. These unique characteristics are realized utilizing ideas and features such as fluidic-origami, self-locking, multistability, and lattice symmetry transformation in origami modular metastructures. This presentation will highlight some of these interdisciplinary research advances in nature-inspired multifunctional adaptive metastructures.

:  Kon-Well Wang is the Stephen P. Timoshenko Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan. He received his Ph.D. degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1985, worked at the General Motors Research Labs as a Senior Research Engineer, and started his academic career at the Penn State University in 1988, where he has served as the William E. Diefenderfer Chaired Professor in Mechanical Engineering. He joined the University of Michigan in 2008, and has been the Department Chair of Mechanical Engineering from 2008 to 2018. Wang’s main technical interests are in adaptive structural systems and structural dynamics. He has received numerous recognitions; such as the Pi Tau Sigma-ASME Charles Russ Richards Memorial Award, the ASME J. P. Den Hartog Award, the SPIE Smart Structures and Materials Lifetime Achievement Award, the ASME N. O. Myklestad Award, the ASME Rudolf Kalman Award, and the ASME Adaptive Structures and Materials Systems Award. He is a Fellow of the ASME, AAAS, and IOP.

Date(s) - Nov 27, 2018
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm


37-124 Engineering IV
420 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles CA

 UCLA Samueli Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering