April 24 2019

12:00 LSB 2320

Jeffrey Eldredge
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, UCLA

Natural Locomotion: a Non-Biologists Attempt at Distillation Natural Locomotion: a Non-Biologists Attempt at Distillation


Locomotion in water and air takes on an amazing diversity in nature. To an engineer, whose goal is design vehicles and other devices that perform effectively and efficiently, nature is a rich repository from which to draw inspiration. However, such bio-inspired design requires that we first distill the locomotion into basic mechanical forms. This distillation process is daunting, particularly when we cannot discern form from function in the creature. Does that large fin provide a performance benefit, or does it simply look pretty to attract a mate? Does wing flexibility help a hovering insect stay aloft? Engineers and physicists take aim at these questions by stripping away as much of the complexity as possible, usually naively. In this talk, I will present my own highly abstracted view of several aspects of natural locomotion flapping flight of a hovering insect, undulatory swimming, swimming behind an obstacle, and interactions between the respiration and pectoral fin mechanics in some fish. I will also discuss how we teach fluid dynamics within the overarching setting of biological locomotion.

Host: Malcolm Gordon

Refreshments will be served at 11:40 a.m.

*This seminar is one of a special 4-part series on primarily marine animal-oriented functional morphology, biomechanics, kinematics and animal hydrodynamics. The series is organized in recognition of Prof. Malcolm Gordon on the occasion of his retirement after more than 60 years of research, teaching and service at UCLA.











































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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