West of England Metals and Materials Association
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Trade-offs, evolution and biomimetics

Professor Julian Vincent, University of Oxford

Venue: Bath University - Room 8W2.1

Please register via this link

Tuesday Dec 1, 2015 at 19:30

The idea of a trade-off goes back to the ancient Greeks, when Heraclitus pointed out that it was the basis of defining a problem. Hegel called it the dialectic, Engels used the idea to model evolution and Marx applied it to economics. At some point, Pareto pointed out that it was something to do with optimization, and Genrich Altshuller used the same notion in his formulation of the theory of solving problems inventively (TRIZ) [from the russian acronym]. The Pareto set is being introduced into ecological theory to model adaptive evolution and (almost) define 'ecological niches' as a series of mutually exclusive trade-offs, which can co-exist in any number. With such a broad set of applications, it should come as no surprize that the trade-off can form the basis of a means of equating biology and engineering, yielding a tool to describe and analyse biomimetics. Iím doing this by generating an ontology, based on TRIZ. Part of the outcome is a series of recommendations to make engineering 'greener'.

The talk will be followed by a discussion and buffet.

Members and non-members are welcome.

Spiral orb webs - source
Spiral orb webs

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