Nature-Inspired Engineering

An ECI Conference

September 8-13, 2019
Grand Hotel San Michele
Cetraro (Calabria), Italy

Mark Your Calendar!                    Request for Next Mailing

Call for Abstracts!   Deadlines:  Oral-  May 1, 2019   Poster-  June 1, 2019         

Visa for Italy

Please send this link to colleagues who may be interested in the conference topic.

About This Conference

This first ECI Conference on Nature-Inspired Engineering will bring together practitioners and researchers from academia, national laboratories and industry, with interest in nature-inspired solutions for engineering. Nature-Inspired Engineering (NIE) is the application of fundamental scientific mechanisms, underpinning desirable properties observed in nature (e.g., resilience, scalability, efficiency), to inform the design of advanced technological solutions.

As illustrated by the many applications, from energy technology, catalysis and reactor engineering, to functional materials for the built environment, electronic or optical devices, biomedical and healthcare engineering, NIE has the opportunity to inform transformative solutions to tackle some of our most pressing challenges, as well as to be a pathway to innovation. Most work employing NIE is inherently cross-disciplinary, and builds on progress in fundamentals, analytical and computational tools, additive manufacturing and novel synthesis routes.

Unlike “biomimicry” in the narrow sense, the nature-inspired engineering approach advocates a methodological, thematic approach that incorporates an identified, superior natural mechanism into a nature-inspired design that is specifically adapted to suit a practical application, rather than imitating nature out of context or succumbing to superficial analogies.

Because underpinning mechanisms are so crucial to systematize the approach, the same mechanism-based themes of the Center for Nature Inspired Engineering (CNIE) will be used as a backbone, linking presentations in the conference: “Hierarchical Transport Networks, Force Balancing” and “Dynamic Self-Organization”. These themes are explained in more detail on the CNIE website (, which includes a link to the CNIE brochure. They were chosen because they lead to so many desired, but underutilized properties we observe in nature. Of course, some work may well employ a combination of these mechanisms, while other applications could borrow from still different mechanisms in nature that do not fit any of these three categories, so other mechanisms will be explored at the conference as well.

The conference will focus on the following application areas:

  • Scalable Manufacturing & Process Intensification
  • Built Environment: Construction, Architecture & Urban Design
  • Functional Materials
  • Biomedical & Healthcare Engineering
  • Energy & Environmental Technology
  • Robotics and Other Applications

We look forward to your participation at the conference!

Keynote Speakers

(Please click on the name to view a research profile.)

Prof. Wilhelm Barthlott                                          
University of Bonn
Nees Institute for Biodiversity of Plants
Conference Topic Area:  Functional Materials


Prof. Bharat Bhushan                                       
Ohio State University
Dept. of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Conference Topic Area:  Functional Materials


Prof. Mark Cutkosky                                                        
Stanford University
Dept. of Mechanical Engineering
Conference Topic Area:  Robotics/Other Applications



Prof. Eugene Goldfield                                                         
Harvard University
Wyss Institute
Conference Topic Area:  Biomedical & Healthcare Engineering



Prof. Navin Kumar                                                      
Indian Institute of Technology Ropar
School of Mech., Material & Energy Engineering
Conference Topic Area:  Biomedical & Healthcare


Prof. Klaus Lackner                                                   
Arizona State University
School of Sustainable Engineering
Conference Topic Area:  Energy & Environmental


Prof. Achim Menges                                              
University of Stuttgart
Inst. for Computational Design & Construction
Conference Topic Area:  Built Environment:
Construction, Architecture & Urban Design



Prof. Marc A. Meyers                                         
University of California San Diego
Center for Energy Research
Conference Topic Area:  Functional Materials



Dr. Anna Rising
Karolinska Institute Stockholm                                 
Dept. of Neurobiology, Care Science and Society
Conference Topic Area:  Functional Materials


Conference Organization


Marc-Olivier Coppens, University College London,  Website 

Bharat Bhushan, Ohio State University  Website

Abstract Submission

One-page abstracts should be submitted as soon as possible and no later than the deadlines noted below.  The abstract should include both the significance of the research as well as results that will be discussed to allow a scientific assessment of the work by the organizers. Please indicate if the abstract is for an oral or poster presentation. Only a limited number of oral presentation slots are available.  Thus all submissions for oral presentations will be considered for both oral and poster.

Please indicate which application area is the best fit for your contribution on nature-inspired engineering:

  • Scalable Manufacturing & Process Intensification
  • Built Environment: Construction, Architecture & Urban Design
  • Functional Materials
  • Biomedical & Healthcare Engineering
  • Energy & Environmental Technology
  • Robotics and Other Applications

Deadline for abstracts for oral presentations:                     May 1, 2019
Deadline for abstracts for poster presentations:                 June 1, 2019

Please prepared your abstract according to this template: docx or doc.

All abstracts should be submitted electronically and submissions must follow the template provided at this link.

ECI will sponsor a poster competition for the Best Student Poster and Best Overall Poster.

Sponsor Opportunities

Please click HERE to view the various opportunities to be a sponsor.

Conference Venue

Cetraro and Grand Hotel San Michele

Cetraro Marina, a pleasant seaside resort is about two km from the Cetraro Commune of which it is a part.  The ancient Citrarium (name derived from the abundant citrus cultivation in the area) was a center of the Bruzi rising between Paola and Capo Bonifati.  Its coast location offers many interesting boat excursions.

The picturesque Grand Hotel San Michele ( is situated on the Tyrrhenian Coast, 120 meters above the Mediterranean Sea, with a fantastic view of Calabria’s southern coast.  It offers visitors one of the prettiest locations Southern Italy has to offer and is considered by many to be one of Calabria’s finest hotels.  Its beach (120 meters below the cliffs) is accessible only by a private special elevator.  The hotel has a swimming pool, driving range, tennis court, minigolf, piano bar and billiard room.

The hotel is surrounded by an organic farm that provides the hotel with fresh organic food.  Vegetables, fruits, olive oil, wine, milk, cheese, daily laid eggs, lamb, veal and pork meat, homemade jams and preserves are all produced on San Michele Hotel’s premises.

The acreage upon which the hotel is situated is also a bird sanctuary, where bird lovers from around Italy come to observe migratory patterns.

The maximum number of people that can be hosted in the hotel is about 80; however, there are other hotels in the area and the hotel can arrange pickups.


Cetraro (Calabria), Italy

Air: The Lamezia Airport (SUF) is 75 km from the hotel.  The hotel can arrange for pick-ups.  The airport is served by Alitalia, Delta, Lufthansa and many others

Train: The Paola Railway station is about 21 km from the hotel by ItaliaRail.

Auto: Use the Motorway Roma – Caserta Sud – Salarno – Lagonegro Nord – Fondo Valle Noce.  (293 km)

Conference Fees and Registration

Coming soon!

General Information About ECI

Engineering Conferences International (ECI) is a global engineering conferences program, originally established in 1962, that provides opportunities for the exploration of problems and issues of concern to engineers and scientists from many disciplines.

The format of the weeklong research conference provides morning and late afternoon or evening sessions in which major presentations are made. Available time is included during the afternoons for ad hoc meetings, informal discussions, and/or recreation. This format is designed to enhance rapport among participants and promote dialogue on the development of the meeting. We believe that the conferences have been instrumental in generating ideas and disseminating information to a greater extent than is possible through more conventional forums.

All participants are expected both to attend the entire conference and to contribute actively to the discussions. The recording/photographing of lectures and presentations is forbidden. As ECI conferences take place in an informal atmosphere, casual clothing is the usual attire.

Engineering Conferences International
32 Broadway, Suite 314, New York, NY 10004
T: 1-212-514-6760 F: 1-212-514-6030 E: