Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 202100313
Nature Inspired Design & Engineering
Course info
Course module202100313
Credits (ECTS)5
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Contact persondr. D.T.A. Matthews
dr. D.T.A. Matthews
Contactperson for the course
dr. D.T.A. Matthews
ir. H. Reuvekamp
Academic year2022
Starting block
Application procedureYou apply via OSIRIS Student
Registration using OSIRISYes
After the course, the student is able to:
  1. explain in general terms the most important concepts of biomimicry in bulk structural materials and functional surfaces
  2. evaluate the design principles found in nature and how these can be measured/quantified
  3. analyse scientific literature on manufacturing and processing techniques suitable for replicating biomimetic structures and surfaces
  4. apply this knowledge in a real design problem to create a new product or redesign an existing product.

The natural world has developed a wide array of innovative solutions to prevent the spread of disease, to act as defense mechanisms, to enable efficient use of water and foodstuffs or to create structural colours, to name a few examples.
Developing materials that mimic natural materials therefore opens doors for the fabrication of next generation materials and products. The NIDE course “Nature-Inspired Design & Engineering” will expose you to how nature utilizes different length-scales to achieve both bulk structural properties, as well as functional surfaces, through the combination of structures, compositions, and interfacial features.
This course will not simply address biomimicry by copying, but by learning the design principles and applying them to the redesign, or new design of a product and assessing possible manufacturing routes for the implementation of design inspired by nature.
The NIDE course aims to provide flexibility in learning. This is reflected in the course structure and the assessment. Based on a core foundation of knowledge, you, as a student of the course, will be encouraged and supported to augment the knowledge through self-study, presentation of your findings and peer- review/feedback. The main assignment can be conducted individually, in pairs or in groups to go in-depth on a well-derived research question. Typically, this assignment will comprise a literature survey but can also include practical “hands-on” aspects in the (re)design of a product. Students of this course are free to choose between developing the depth in “pure” materials science, production methods to achieve desired material properties or modelling, or a combination of factors.

Assessment: written assignment + oral exam + paper presentation
Grading: 60 % report, 20% oral exam, 20% paper presentation
=> A transparent rubric is defined and shared with the students for clarity of expectations

Additional information:
Nature Inspired Design & Engineering is a 5 EC course comprising:
  • Contact moments: 6 Lectures (12 hours, wherein 1 Guest lecture), 4 paper presentation days (mandatory), 8 supervised self-study sessions and an oral exam = 42hours
  • Non-contact moments (Report writing and information finding etc…) = 98h
  • Total study load  = 140 hours
Assumed previous knowledge
A Bachelor degree in an Engineering discipline (e.g. IDE/ME/BME or equivalent) to ensure the student has a:
• Basic knowledge of physics
• Basic knowledge of (mechanics of) materials
• Basic knowledge of production technologies
• Basic knowledge of, and experience with, executing design processes

Examples of specific courses in B-ID are materials, production 1,2,3, intro to IDE, mechanics of materials, statics
Participating study
Master Industrial Design Engineering
Participating study
Master Mechanical Engineering
Participating study
Master Biomedical Engineering
Required materials
Recommended materials
(Digital) Handouts
Course material
Instructional modes
Presence dutyYes

Presence dutyYes


Presence dutyYes

Self study with assistance

Self study without assistance

Assignment & Oral Exam

Kies de Nederlandse taal