UW News

October 9, 2008

Engineering inspired by nature is topic of lecture series

“Engineering Inspired by Nature: Robots, Greener Energy & Nanotech Systems” is the title for a series of three lectures that examine nature’s role in our future. The series, cosponsored by the College of Engineering and the Alumni Association, are free and open to the public.

The lectures are:

Oct. 16: Where Humans and Robots Connect, by Yoky Matsuoka, 7 p.m., 120 Kane. A trailblazer in the emerging field of neurobotics, Matsuoka built the hands for MIT’s famous humanoid robot, COG. Now she’s transforming our understanding of how the central nervous system coordinates musculoskeletal action and how robotic technology can enhance the dexterity and mobility of people with disabilities.

Oct. 30: Beyond Oil: Powering the Future, by Daniel Schwartz and Miles Drake, 7 p.m., 110 Kane. Transportation consumes 70 percent of the oil used in our country. But as worldwide demand for oil soars, supplies tighten and prices skyrocket, how will we keep transportation moving? Schwartz is a chemical engineering professor and Drake is Weyerhaeuser’s senior vice president of research and development and chief technology officer.

Nov. 19: Back to Nature for the Next Technology Revolution, by Babak Parviz, 7 p.m., 110 Kane. Just 40 years ago, a computer had 2,000 transistors. Today’s CPUs have one billion and tomorrow’s units will have billions and billions of tiny components. But they can’t be manufactured with today’s technology. So where do we turn? Parviz, an assistant professor of electrical engineering, is studying nature on the nanoscale to create the next technology revolution.

For more information and to register online, visit www.UWalum.com or call the UW Alumni Association at 206-543-0540.