CSU research reflects exhibit at Denver Museum of Nature & Science

(Photos by Chris Schneider Photography)

To Colorado State University’s Dr. Seth Donahue nature lends much to the world around us.

When bighorn sheep ram against one another, they don’t incur injury, an observation which can directly relate to how better helmets can be built to protect humans.

The idea of mimicking nature to build out – or model – technological advances is one of Donahue’s focuses. Molding new-age innovation after aspects found in nature is the focus of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science’s Nature’s Amazing Machines exhibit, which will run through Jan. 1, 2018.

“I think the Nature’s Amazing Machines exhibit at the DMNS is a wonderful way to educate people of all ages about the unique materials like bone and horn and mechanical mechanisms such as the jaws of predators like T-Rex and crocodiles that have evolved to perform extreme mechanical functions,” Donahue said.

“It was a pleasure to work with museum personnel on the content of this exhibit. I think the exhibit could be especially influential for K-12 and college students to pursue careers in the fields of biomimicry and bio-inspired design.”

CSU is a major supporter of the exhibit, as part of the university’s larger association with the Museum, which includes collaborative research, student visits, and opportunities to feature CSU research and graduate student work.

As Nature’s Amazing Machines runs at the Denver Museum, the Department of Mechanical Engineering and School of Biomedical Engineering has taken an active role in programming events around the exhibit, as CSU faculty use existing biological materials to engineer solutions to health problems.

Graduate students Emily Mulawa, Ph.D. in Bioengineering, and Tim Seek, a graduate student in Mechanical Engineering shared their research with hundreds of Denver-area professionals at the Museum’s Science Lounge on July 20.

“CSU, for example, offers courses on natural biological materials and conducts research on bio-inspired design, such as in developing bio-inspired surfaces for medical devices that contact blood and new bio-inspired, high energy absorbing materials based on the horns of Bighorn sheep,” Donahue said.

Don’t miss CSU Day at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Wear Ram gear and receive $2 off a Museum entrance ticket. Stop by the CSU Alumni Association table from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for CSU swag!