Biological & Soft Matter Seminar: A Virtual lab tour of the Flexible Structures Laboratory at EPFL

Prof. Pedro M. Reis,  EPFL, Switzerland

21 April 2021, 11:00 
Biological & Soft Matter Seminar




It used to be that academic seminars involved a researcher visiting a host institution to deliver a talk and meet with colleagues (do you remember those days?!). Times have changed, at least temporarily, but this situation is also opening opportunities. In this 'talk', we will be inviting you for a virtual tour of our Flexible Structures Laboratory (fleXLab) at EPFL in Switzerland. We will show you some of our experimental facilities and share some of our recent research activities, focusing on the mechanics of magneto-active structures. Multiple members of our team will be involved in this tour. Research at our fleXLab focuses is centered in the general area of the mechanics of slender structures, which leverage their post-buckling regime for novel modes of functionality. Methodologically, we recognize scaled high-precision model experiments as a powerful tool for discovery in mechanics, supported by theory and computation, in a vision of science-enable engineering and engineering-motivated science. Recently, we have become fascinated with active structures made out of magneto-rheological elastomers that can be actuated in the presence of an external magnetic field. After introducing some recent advances in experimentation, modeling, and computational for this class of systems, we will present a series of concrete examples. Specifically, we will discuss (i) (re)programmable mechanical metamaterials with programmable memory; (ii) magneto-active beams and Kirchhoff-like rods; and (iii) magnetic shells with tunable buckling properties.


This virtual lab will involve the participation of the following fleXLab members: Tim Chen (postdoc), Arefeh Abbasi (PhD student), Tomohiko Sano (postdoc), and Dong Yan (postdoc).


We are looking forward to 'e-hosting' you at our fleXLab at EPFL! 




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