A New Collaborative Effort for Biomimetic-Based Research on Thermal Behavior of Geomaterials Grant

A New Collaborative Effort for Biomimetic-Based Research on Thermal Behavior of Geomaterials .


  • a technical description This proposal is to catalyze a new collaborative effort with Prof. Matthew Hall of the University of Nottingham, UK, to imitate biological systems such as vascular network in human/animal skin and engineer stabilized soils as thermoregulatory building elements. Prof Hall is a leading researcher on stabilized soils, who has access to unique facilities required to study hygrothermal behavior of soils. Research conducted by his group has opened up the possibility of engineering stabilized soils to control their hygrothermal properties. The PIs recent work on biomimetics and Prof Halls research on hygrothermal behavior of stabilized soils complement each other, and together they would bring synergistic value to long-term research on this theme.The intellectual merit of this new collaborative effort lies in how a passive thermoregulatory behavior of stabilized soil could be transformed to an active behavior through biomimetic design of soil samples using plant fibers. Through an understanding of the microcirculation in skin enabling the differences between tissue and blood temperatures to be reconciled, and regulation of body core temperature through manipulation of heat production and losses, stabilized soil will be engineered to mimic the highly-evolved skin systems.a non-technical explanation The new scientific direction facilitated by this CNIC project will have broad impact in three dimensions: i) it will develop a formal basis for the sustainable practice of engineering construction using natural materials (soil- and plant-based), ii) it will imitate the energy efficiency of biological systems to engineer soils as active thermoregulators, and iii) it will open up a new interdisciplinary dimension to engineering education.

date/time interval

  • September 1, 2014 - August 31, 2016

administered by

sponsor award ID

  • 1349981