The objective is to gather experience in employing the method biomimetics, i.e. how to search in nature for relevant analogue solutions for a specific question and how to use findings as inspiration when developing and designing energy related products. As it is a small, one-semester workshop, we concentrate on a specific but very important task in the whole Biomimetic process – the understanding of principles:

  • “search”: Search and select biological role models with a specific energy related function in literature sources and Biomimetic databases, and study the selected organism(s),
  • “interpret”: Identify the relevant functional principle(s) and understanding it in detail,
  • “design”: Sketch the principle and develop a simplified model describing the principle in an intuitive way.

The work is  elaborated in groups and the results are presented in a semi-public presentation at the end of the semester. The best models will be used for public dissemination and events of the UAS Technikum Vienna (e.g. for the national event “Lange Nacht der Forschung Wien” or “Tag der offenen Tür”).

LATEST WORKSHOP FINALS – winter semester 2014/2015

Fibonacci sequence found in seeds arrangements of sunflowers

Fibonacci sequence to optimize the geometrical arrangement of seeds from sunflowers to gain maximum solar irradiation (Stefan Niederhofer, Christoph Adrian Pan, Thomas Schiessl, Philip Skrbic)

Propulsion based on fish fin locomotion

Propulsion based on fish fin locomotion (Roman Bolgaryn, Michael Eichinger, Albert Hesse, Agnes Mairitsch)

Cooling of dogs using the tongues

Adiabatic and evaporative cooling principle of mammals without sweat glands (Florian Haag, Maria Moser, Stephan Schmidt, Elisabeth Schorn)

Buoyancy based on Archimedes’ principle

Buoyancy based on Archimedes’ principle (Martin Cichy, Martin Lenz, Bernhard Müller, Andreas Schöfegger)

Thermal updraft in termite mounds

Thermal updraft in termite mounds (Christoph Lichtenauer, Daniel Mayrhofer, Philipp Selitsch, Christina Wiedemaier)

Hydraulic mechanism of spider legs

Hydraulic mechanism of spider legs (Robert Lebschik, Sebastian Merli, Peter Moser, Tobias Senoner)

Second moment of area

Second moment of area applied on large plant leaves (Bernhard Kossak, Gabor Muhari, Stefan Rettenbacher, Patrick Stocker)

Examples – Student Projects from the last years

Optimize light use – Sunflower (WS2012 – Thomine, Katschinka, Maul, Süss, Goschenhofer)

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Osmosis and capillary effects – plants, horned toad (WS2013 – Kirchmayer, Mitterhauser, Stagl, Zehetbauer)




Chimney effect, natural draft  – Termite moulds (WS2012 -Nurschinger, Ruef, Vock, Zoltan)

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