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Bio-inspired Design Pedagogy in Engineering

  • Jacquelyn K. S. NagelEmail author
  • Christopher Rose
  • Cheri Beverly
  • Ramana Pidaparti
Chapter

Abstract

Every day, engineers are confronted with complex challenges that range from personal to municipal to national needs. The ability for future engineers to work in cross-disciplinary environments will be an essential competency. One approach to achieving this essential competency is teaching biomimicry or bio-inspired design in an engineering curriculum. Bio-inspired design encourages learning from nature to generate innovative designs for man-made technical challenges that are more economic, efficient and sustainable than ones conceived entirely from first principles. This chapter reviews current teaching practices and courses in engineering curricula for training students in multidisciplinary design innovation through bio-inspired design. Emphasis is placed on theory-based and evidenced-based approaches that have demonstrated learning impact. The significance and implications of teaching bio-inspired design in an engineering curriculum are discussed, and connections to how the essential competencies of future engineers are fostered is addressed. Teaching bio-inspired design in an engineering curriculum using cross-disciplinary approaches will not only develop essential competencies of tomorrow’s engineer, but also enable students to become change agents and promote a sustainable future.

Keywords

Bio-inspired design Biomimicry Innovation Cross-disciplinary 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work is partially supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1504612 and 1504614. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. The authors also gratefully acknowledge the helpful comments and suggestions of the reviewers, which have improved the presentation.

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacquelyn K. S. Nagel
    • 1
    Email author
  • Christopher Rose
    • 4
  • Cheri Beverly
    • 2
  • Ramana Pidaparti
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of EngineeringJames Madison UniversityHarrisonburgUSA
  2. 2.Learning, Technology & Leadership Education DepartmentJames Madison UniversityHarrisonburgUSA
  3. 3.College of Engineering, University of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  4. 4.Department of BiologyJames Madision UniversityHarrisonburgUSA

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