Mechanical and Civil Engineering Seminar
Mechanical and Civil Engineering Seminar Series
Title: Multifunctional Bioinspired Composites
Abstract: Bioinspired bulk composites present an internal structure that is built to replicate selected features from biological composites, such as high strength and fracture toughness. Strength and toughness play a key role in most structural applications, as they provide mechanical stability and reliability. Although research efforts have been mostly focused on the optimization of the mechanical performance of synthetic structural composites, the hallmark of biological composites is their ultimate ability to combine within the same material additional functionalities, such as color, self-healing, sensing, or shape responsiveness. However, the implementation of sensing- or optical properties in today's composites without sacrificing strength and toughness remains challenging. Rethinking materials processing to combine multiple functionalities within a single composite is paramount for the synthesis of next generation structural materials. In this MCE seminar presentation, I will highlight key examples of biologically-inspired composite materials that replicate the microstructure of mother-of-pearl, also known as nacre, and that combine optical transparency, strength, fracture toughness and sensing capabilities.
Bio: Tommaso Magrini is a postdoctoral scholar at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Dr. Magrini earned is Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Materials Science from ETH Zürich (Zürich, Switzerland) in 2021. Prior to joining ETH Zürich, Dr. Magrini earned his B.Sc. in Materials Engineering and Nanotechnology from Politecnico di Milano (Milan, Italy). During his Ph.D. in the group of Prof. André R. Studart at ETH Zürich, Dr. Magrini worked on the synthesis and characterization of bioinspired functional composites. His Ph.D. research was awarded the 2020 Materials Research Society (MRS) Silver Graduate Student Award. Awarded with the Swiss National Science Foundation SNSF Postdoc. Mobility grant, in December 2021 Dr. Magrini joined the group of Prof Chiara Daraio as a postdoctoral scholar. During his postdoc, his research at the intersection between Materials Science and Engineering is focused on the study and characterization of robotic matter, a novel class of functional materials that are active, adaptive, and responsive to multiple environmental stimuli.
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