Material Form Function seeks to fill a doctoral student position to analyze Tessellated Materials Systems. The doctoral project will focus in particular on form-function relationships in two biological systems, tessellated cartilage skeletons of sharks and rays and armadillo dermal armor. Both biological systems take advantage of architectural arrangements of soft and hard materials to mediate impressive combinations of mechanical and kinematic functions. The relationship between the tissue composition, architecture and materials properties and performance will be explored within the context of the material ecology. State-of-the-art morphological techniques (imaging-based characterization of structural and material properties) and functional approaches (e.g. simulations and physical models of the interaction and biomechanics of the tessellated systems) will be combined. The overarching goal is the identification of general principles that could further be used for biomimetic and bio-informed technical solutions, e.g., in architecture, (wearables) design and in cooperation with roboticists.
The work is carried out in close cooperation with the comparative morphology, mechanics & biomaterials laboratory at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Golm (Potsdam, near Berlin) and the morphology and the history of forms laboratory at the HU Berlin.