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Insect wing performance in wet environments

Academic lead
Dr Sepideh Khodaparast, School of Mechanical Engineering,
Dr Christopher Hassal, School of Biology,
Project themes
Other: Biomimetics and Complex Interfacial Flows, Underpinning Methods for Fluid Dynamics

Wings of most insects are decorated by complex nanostructures that promote multifunctionality.  Such natural examples offer consistent source of inspiration for biomimetic engineering of novel materials with advanced physico-chemical properties, and applications ranging from photonics to biomedicine. Lying at the interface of biology and fluid mechanics, this PhD project seeks correlations between nanoscale patterns of various species of insect wings and their performance in the vicinity of water sources and wet environments. In particular, morphological and material properties of different species of Odonata will be examined. Additionally, their performance under the impact of isolated water droplets and continuous flow of pure and contaminated water solutions will be investigated experimentally. Findings of this project will not only enrich our limited understanding of such complex natural systems, but also advance new generations of design and fabrication approaches for functional materials.