Nature-Inspired Engineering

An ECI Conference

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


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 NetworksForce 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

Conference Organization


Marc-Olivier Coppens, University College London,  Website 

Bharat Bhushan, Ohio State University  Website

Final Program

Click on This Link to view the final program and posters.

Keynote Speakers

Keynote Speakers for this conference.

Poster Awards

Ruben Kruiper, Heriot-Watt University, United Kingdom

Trade-offs in Computer-aided Biomimetics

Viola Tokárová,VŠCHT Praha, Czech Republic

Development of biomimetic surfaces with an antibacterial effect based on the structure of dragonfly wings

Malica Schmidt, University College London, United Kingdom

Nature-Inspired, Multi-Functional Surface Coatings that Absorb Water, Shield Against Radiation, and are Antibacterial

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.

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