Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering Seminar


Dynamic Interfaces in Biology and Engineering


Guillermo Amador


Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems


Monday, July 17, 2017 at 11:00:00 AM


MRDC Building, Room 4211


Dr. David Hu


Animals have evolved novel techniques for interacting with their surroundings during locomotion. The physics dictating their interactions have inspired engineered systems, such as pick-and-place grippers, climbing robots, and pumps for microfluidic systems. In this talk, I will focus on the methods by which animals, particularly insects, locomote successfully through unstructured and contaminated environments via climbing and jumping. The prevailing theme of this work is the controlled transfer of complex media through interactions across interfaces. I will present how: fibrillar biological adhesives on the footpads of beetles shear clean through slippage during climbing; spiders use blood in internal hydraulic systems to generate impulsive forces during jumping; liquid metals generate high adhesion through intimate contact using their nanometer-thick oxide skin; and temperature-induced Marangoni stresses drive fluids in microchannels at high speeds. Through my research, I hope to address questions concerning the physical role of biological form, and, as an engineer, motivate and develop bio-inspired functional materials for interfacing with fluids and particles of the micrometer scale.


Guillermo Amador was born in Caracas, Venezuela. He and his family immigrated to South Florida where he later attended the University of Miami for his undergraduate studies. There he discovered his passion for fluid mechanics and applied math and double majored in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Afterwards he moved to Atlanta, GA to pursue a PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech. His advisor, David Hu, exposed him to the world of biomechanics, and he has been working ever since to discover how biological systems, like plants and animals, interface with their environment. Currently, he is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Metin Sitti's Physical Intelligence group at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, Germany.


Meet the speaker