From Microorganisms to Animals: Advanced Materials Technologies Inspired by Nature by Professsor Tak-Sing Wong

Abstract: With an evolutionary history of 3.95 billion years and over 8 million species on earth, natural organisms have often served as blueprints for the design of highly functional engineered materials. In this seminar, I will discuss a number of biologically inspired examples showcasing our recent materials and technological innovations including the development of single molecule sensors and super water harvesting materials inspired by the slippery rims of Nepenthes pitcher plants, to the fabrication of ultra-antireflective materials inspired by the leafhopper-produced brochosomes, and the creation of self-healing surgical film inspired by cellular phagocytosis, among others. Perspectives on how these nature-inspired materials can be utilized to address future global sustainability challenges in health, water, and the environment – three of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals outlined by the United Nations – will be discussed.

Biosketch: Tak-Sing Wong is currently an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering and the inaugural holder of Wormley Family Early Career Professorship in Engineering at Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Wong was a Croucher Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. He received his Ph.D. degree (2009) in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at UCLA, and his B.Eng. degree (2003) in Mechanical Engineering from The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Dr. Wong’s research focuses on surface and materials engineering, micro- and nanomanufacturing, as well as bio-inspired materials design with applications in health, energy, and water sustainability. His research has been published in Nature, Nature Materials, Nature Communications, PNAS, and Science Advances. His work on bio-inspired materials has been recognized with a number of national and international awards including R&D 100 Award, a NSF CAREER Award, a DARPA Young Faculty Award, the IEEE Nanotechnology Council Early Career Award (Nanotechnology), and the ASME Sia Nemat-Nasser Early Career Award (Materials Engineering). Dr. Wong has been named one of the world’s top 35 innovators under 35 (formerly TR35) by MIT Technology Review for his contributions in bioinspired materials design.

Date(s) - Feb 13, 2019
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

38-138 Engineering IV
420 Westwood Plaza Los Angeles CA 90095