Dr Rudra Pratap is a Professor at the Centre for Nano Science and Engineering (CeNSE), and an associate faculty of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
Dr Rudra Pratap specializes in MEMS and NEMS design. Apart from MEMS and NEMS, his research interests include mechanobiology, sensor technology, and computational mechanics. Dr. Rudra Pratap holds a Ph.D. degree from Cornell University, USA and a B. Tech. from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Science.
Our ability to probe biological systems at multiple length scales and learn about their incredibly intelligent designs, coupled with the recent technological advances in making and manipulating things at extremely small length scales, has opened a new world of endless possibilities in engineering. The study of biological systems is now moving rapidly from fact-finding and “how-does-it-work” quest to system science and design-principle discoveries. What was once only a functional inspiration (e.g., flying by watching birds) is now turning into a quest for nature inspired design principles, synthesis of new materials, and optimization of multifunctional components. Nature’s designs are neither random nor bespoke. There are extremely intelligent design templates that allow plenty of second order variations to produce seemingly different systems. It is this design principle that is of central interest to engineering today. As our quest for intelligent systems grows, we realize that we need to integrate numerous small-scale sensors and actuators into our systems just the way Nature does. This need calls for radical changes in the design of sensors and actuators. I will illustrate this idea in this talk by presenting our studies on field-crickets for understanding bioacoustic transducers and a study of insect halters as navigational sensors. I will show how these systems and their designs are radically different from their human engineered counterparts. I will also present how we have been able to use our understanding of the unusually loud sound producing mechanism of field crickets and its cleaver design that imparts distinctive song frequencies to different species of crickets for a very innovative design of MEMS speakers. I will also share our quest for innovation in transducer design inspired by our study of some Nature’s sensors used by such insects.
Wednesday, September 26th, 2018 10:30am
Capen 10 (Buffalo Room)