ASU joins Biomimicry Institute

January 20, 2010

Arizona State University has become the newest member of the Biomimicry Affiliate Program of the Montana-based Biomimicry Institute. ASU is the only U.S. institution to be awarded affiliate status and joins Iberoamericana University, Mexico City, and the Ontario College of Art & Design, Toronto.

The agreement between ASU and the Biomimicry Institute will foster greater cooperation in a variety of areas. They include developing biomimicry-based courses and other educational opportunities, pursuing joint grant opportunities and stimulating the development of biomimicry-based technologies and ventures at ASU. Download Full Image

Biomimicry is an emerging discipline that explores the materials, processes and functions of nature for clues to solving human problems. The approach is being used by companies around the world as a strategy to guide the sustainable design of a wide range of products, from energy efficient buildings and self-cleaning paints to brighter electronic displays and power-sipping impellers and fans.

ASU has become a leader in biomimicry. Examples include:

• InnovationSpace – a joint venture established by ASU’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, W.P. Carey School of Business and the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering – is pioneering biomimicry in its core curriculum as a fundamental strategy for creating sustainable product concepts.

• Center for Bio-Inspired Solar Fuel Production – backed by a $14 million grant from the Department of Energy, the center focuses on unlocking the secrets of energy conversion in photosynthetic organisms and will use these natural processes as a model for creating an artificial system of solar-powered fuel production.

• ASU’s School of Life Sciences will host a conference on “Social Biomimicry: Insect Societies and Human Design,” Feb. 18-20.

The international conference will convene biologists, computer scientists, artists, designers, architects and engineers who will explore how the collective behavior and nest architecture of social insects can inspire more efficient and sustainable solutions to human challenges in areas such as manufacturing, communications, transportation and green building.

“Arizona State University faculty are exploring a wide range of possible applications for biomimicry,” said ASU President Michael Crow.

“We have active research in biomimicry that could affect such fields as renewable energy, new materials and bioengineering. We also are working to integrate biomimicry into our curriculum offerings to our students, with the goal of educating future generations of students in this important technological field.”

Aldeheid Fischer, (480) 965-6367

Media contact:
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Media Relations

Director, Media Relations and Strategic Communications


Staff members help students donate $10K to Haiti

January 21, 2010

ASU Bookstores is well on their way to donating more than $10,000 to the Red Cross Haiti relief fund – thanks to the astounding level of donations from ASU students on all four campuses and one full-time staff member’s idea to take advantage of the massive number of students who pass through their doors during the first weeks of school. 

“The premise was that collecting at ASU Bookstores would be an effective way to reach out to a large number of our students,” said Paul Strauss, a program manager for ASU Bookstores. “Plus, the stores are located on all four ASU campuses so we can reach a great deal of our student population.” Download Full Image

The initial goal was to raise $10,000 to help those in need in Haiti, but Strauss said the staff members expect to exceed this goal by the second week of classes, as the student response has been extremely positive.

“We have had more than 1,200 participants in the program in just four days,” Strauss said on the second day of the spring semester. “We plan on running the campaign for the next couple of weeks, as long as there is student interest.”

Each donor has the opportunity to write their name on a small “Hope for Haiti” certificate that the staff has been displaying on store walls, nearly covering them at this point. Many customers have written positive notes on the “Hope for Haiti” certificates, Strauss said.

All funds collected will be donated directly to the Red Cross relief fund.

Britt Lewis

Communications Specialist, ASU Library