Beauty in design goes well beyond architecture and ornamentation. It is found in all fields of engineering and has even
launched an entirely new field of biologically inspired design called biomimicry.
Biomimicry studies how nature solves problems, such as flight and low-drag swimming, and applies those principles to
engineered solutions. This field of study has brought about incredible breakthroughs – microscopic cameras that can
“swarm” into a larger image, swimsuits that have the texture of shark skin, and robots that can climb windows or fly
In this upcoming UC Connect | Tauhere public lecture, in conjunction with TechWeek19, University of Canterbury
mechanical and biomedical engineer, Senior Lecturer Dr Deborah Munro
, will talk about her work designing everything from robotic dinosaurs to orthopaedic implants and prostheses, and also
how studying natural movement informed her best solutions.
Dr Munro was one of the design engineers for the Jurassic Park Ride at Universal Studios Hollywood, where you can view
her mother and baby ultrasaur, parasaur, and T-Rex. She also worked for NASA and worked on the AX-5 spacesuit, the
infrared airplane-mounted telescope called SOFIA, and an animal habitat that flew on the Space Shuttle. Her recent work
has been in orthopaedic implant design and biomechanics, with projects including total hip replacement and measurement
of spinal fusion with implanted sensors.
She says the future of biomimicry is vast. It’s design inspired by how nature solves problems. Dr Munro discussed
biomimicry and harnessing nature’s innovation on RNZ recently (listen to her interview here
UC Connect | Tauhere public lecture: Inspired by Nature: Engineering as an Art Form by Dr Deborah Munro, Senior Lecturer, Mechanical Engineering (Lead for Medical Engineering), UC Engineering, 7pm – 8pm,
Wednesday 22 May 2019, C Block lecture theatres at the University of Canterbury, Ilam campus, Christchurch. In
conjunction with TechWeek19.