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Seminar - Nature-inspired innovations for engineering novel mechanical systems by Dr. Zuankai Wang
日期:2018 年 03 月 20 日 ( 星期二)
Time:11:00 am – 12:00 pm


Billions of years of evolution have endowed the biological world with exquisite functionalities. Learning from nature not only satisfies our innate curiosity for understanding the world, but also provides important insights to drive a paradigm shift in technology. Historically, many leaps in human civilization are propelled by drawing clues from nature, from the invention of the aircraft to the Shinkansen train, and from the development of nacre-inspired super strong materials to medical robotics. Over the past decade, the fusion of bio-inspired engineering with other cutting edge technologies has allowed us to develop various new materials with a high level of sophistication and functionalities. Despite exciting progress, most of synthetic materials are still limited by their relatively poor stability and durability in practical applications. Thus, it is scientifically important and technological challenging to develop disruptive materials and techniques that go beyond the capability of natural counterparts.

In this talk, I will first discuss recent advances in exploiting bio-inspired approach to develop novel materials and devices exhibiting superior performances by controlling structural topography, surface chemistry and external physical stimuli (temperature, electrical field, etc.). Emphasis will be put on the novel routes to manipulate directional mass, momentum and energy transport in harsh environments for a wide range of mechanical relevant applications such as thermal management, anti- icing, oil/water separation, antibacterial and switchable adhesion. Finally I will discuss my own perspectives on how to catalyze new discoveries and to foster technological adoption to move this exciting area forward.


Dr. Zuankai Wang is currently an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering at the City University of Hong Kong. He was awarded the Changjiang Chair Professor by Ministry of Education of China in 2016. He earned his Ph. D. degree in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2008. Dr. Wang has received many awards including the 2017 Outstanding Research Award and President’s Award at the City University of Hong Kong (2017, 2016), Outstanding Youth Award conferred by the International Society of Bionic Engineering (2016), OSA Young Scientist Award (2016), Chinese Government Outstanding Self-Financed Students Abroad Award (2007), and Materials Research Society (MRS) Graduate Student Silver Award (2007 Fall Meeting, Boston). His work on the invention of the most water repellent surface has been included in the Guiness Book of World Records. The Ph.D. students he supervised have won a number of prestigious awards including Young 1000 Talent Plan (2017, two PHD graduates), MRS Graduate Student Gold Award (2016 Fall Meeting, only two winners from China), Hiwin Doctoral Dissertation Award (2016), Hong Kong Young Scientist Award (2015), and MRS Graduate Student Silver Award (2015 Spring Meeting, only two winners from China).