Inductive study of mechanics from biomaterials and structures: Observation, interpretation and application

Date3rd January 2019
VenueRoom 118, Building 12, Yuquan Campus
SpeakerProf. Yao Haimin (Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
AbstractInduction is one of the important methods of reasoning in logic. It starts from specific observations and measures to detect patterns and regularities, then formulates some tentative hypotheses that can be explored and demonstrated, and finally ends up with some general conclusions or theories. Such inductive approach has been successfully used in our studies aiming at revealing mechanics concealed in biological materials and structures with unique properties and capabilities. In this talk, three examples of our success are presented. More specifically, from the teeth of black carp, we revealed the method to control the fracture mode of laminated composite; from the shells of mollusks P. placenta and abalone we uncovered a reinforcing mechanism for laminated composite by using spiral interface; from the leaves of mangrove, we learned an antifouling strategy by controlling surface morphology. All these findings not only provide insights into the mechanics responsible for the unique properties and capability of the biological materials and structures, but also imply great promise of application in the design of novel biomimetic advanced materials.

Dr. Haimin Yao is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He received his BEng and MEng degrees in Solid Mechanics from Tsinghua University in 2000 and 2002, respectively. He then went to Germany and studied at the MaxPlanck Institute for Metals Research. In 2006, he obtained his Doctor degree in Chemistry from University of Stuttgart. Then he moved to USA and worked at Brown University (2006-2007) and subsequently at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2007-2010) as a postdoctoral research associate. Before joining the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2011, he had worked at SYSU for around one year. 

Dr. Yao leads a research group studying natural biomaterials and advanced materials with focus on their unique mechanical behaviors and the intrinsic mechanisms. Meanwhile, he serves as an editorial board member for the peer-refereed journals of Scientific Reports, Composites Communication and Applied Mathematics and Mechanics.