IIT Madras Introduces New Course in Biomimicry

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IIT Madras Establishes Data Analytics, Risk and Technology (DART) Lab on 3 September 2020.
A file photo of IIT-Madras

Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, or IIT Madras will soon offer a one of its kind elective course on Biomimicry. The course will be provided under the interdisciplinary stream representatives stated in a statement from the institute on Monday. IIT Madras is set to be amongst the first institutes to offer a full-fledged course on Biomimicry. As the name suggests, involves imitating and mimicking nature.

The Pedagogy: 

The course is to teach the habit of observation and imitate nature closely.

At the intersection of biology and engineering, the course will enhance students’ curiosity for solving complex problems.

“Biomimicry is not learning about nature but learning from it. The ethos of Biomimicry or the guiding principle of Biomimicry is that life creates conditions conducive to life,” reads the statement from the institute. Biomimicry, according to the institute’s statement, “has immense potential not only in engineering, technology and design but also in other areas like management, human resources, administration, social sciences and the arts.”

The Faculty: 

The teachers responsible for administering this course’s academics include Sivakumar, professor, Dean of Students; Shiva Subramaniam, Chief Innovation Officer of Gopalakrishnan-Deshpande Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Satyanarayanan Seshadri, Professor Department of Applied Mechanics and Srinivasa Chakravarthy, Professor, Department of Biotechnology.

The institute has also created a community of “biomimicry enthusiasts”. They will be exploring opportunities in research, entrepreneurship, new products, processes, and systems for the same course. The institute also declared that it plans to hold a biomimicry challenge to provoke bold, sustainable ideas from young minds.

Some examples of engineered products inspired by Biomimicry include the ‘Shinkansen’ bullet train in Tokyo, Japan, inspired by the kingfisher; Wind turbine blade design inspired by the flippers of humpback whales and the self-filling water flasks inspired by the Namib Desert beetle.

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