Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering



Air Flow Sensing in Insects: From Physical Ecology to MEMS Design


Dr. Jerome Casas


University of Tours/CNRS, France


Friday, January 10, 2014 at 10:00:00 AM


Love Building, Room 109


David Hu


Insects are excellent templates for biomimetic design. In this talk, I will present the decade long work a European group made of biologists, mechanical engineers, nanotechnologists and material scientists conducted on air flow sensing hairs in crickets. This will take us from sensory ecology to hair mechanics, ensemble reactions of several sensors, up to the implementation of the findings in a fully functional MEMS hair.


Born in 1961 in the foothills of the Swiss Jura Mountains, Jérôme Casas obtained his Ph.D. from the ETH Zurich in 1989. After a short post-doc at Strathclyde University (Glasgow) he was hired research assistant and later assistant professor (Oberassistant) at the ETH Zurich. He migrated to the US in 1993, working at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and returned to Europe as full Professor in 1995 in Tours. His research interests span physiology and ecology, including work on the physical ecology of insects; the physiology, behavior and population dynamics of consumer-resource interactions; the sensory ecology of mimetism; and biologically- inspired technology, particularly biomimetic flow sensing. One notable feature of his approach is the blending of natural history with both state-of-the-art technology and modeling. His group is composed of applied mathematicians, engineers and biologists.