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Aerodynamics, wing design and flight control in insects



Staff, Students, Academics

Speaker: Dr Richard Bomphrey, The Royal Veterinary College

Research Centre: Turbulence and Flow Control Research Group

Title: Aerodynamics, wing design and flight control in insects


Animals, beginning with the insects, have been flying the earth for approximately 350 million years. Having been tuned by natural selection in the harshest of environments, multiple flight solutions have evolved that enable animals to occupy unique ecological niches. We can apply established fluid dynamics theory and flight control theory to ask questions of evolutionary biology and thereby provide insight for bio-inspired engineering. I will use a comparative approach to examine natural solutions for particular ecological strategies, unravelling design criteria from historical constraint in order to inform wing design in modern air systems. I will show examples of how changes in wing shape and flapping patterns can greatly affect aerodynamic efficiency and force production, and how we can use innovative experimental devices to investigate how sensory cues are used for guidance, navigation and control.

Short Bio:

Richard joined the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) in 2013. He read biological sciences at the University of Exeter followed by a DPhil (PhD) in biomechanics at the University of Oxford. After postdoctoral positions in Oxford and the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bath, he was awarded a Fellowship in 2009 by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to study the evolution and biomechanics of insect wing design in Oxford's Department of Zoology. During this fellowship he moved his group to the RVC, where he now works on aerodynamics, sensing, flight control, wing design, bio-inspired robotics and internal blood flows.

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When & where

3.00pmFriday 25th November 2016

AG01 College Building City, University of London St John Street London EC1V 4PB United Kingdom