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20.10.2016
liquid transport based on the model of a horned lizard
 

VDI presents International Bionic Award of the Schauenburg Foundation

The International Bionic Award of the Schauenburg Foundation this year goes to a four-person interdisciplinary team from Aachen and Linz. The award, which in-cludes prize money of 10,000 Euros, was received by Dr. Philipp Comanns, RWTH Aachen, Kai Winands and Mario Pothen, Fraunhofer Institute for Production Tech-nology IPT Aachen, and Gerda Buchberger, Johannes Kepler University Linz for their outstanding research work.

 
vlnr: L. Vollrath (Vertreter Schauenburg-Stiftung) , M. Pothen (Preisträger), R. Appel (VDI-Direktor und Laudator), P. Comanns (Preisträger), G. Buchberger (Preisträgerin), K. Winands (Preisträger), A. Kesel (HS Bremen und Vorsitzende VDI-FB Bionik). (Picture: Labisch/BIC Bremen)

vlnr: L. Vollrath (Vertreter Schauenburg-Stiftung) , M. Pothen (Preisträger), R. Appel (VDI-Direktor und Laudator), P. Comanns (Preisträger), G. Buchberger (Preisträgerin), K. Winands (Preisträger), A. Kesel (HS Bremen und Vorsitzende VDI-FB Bionik). (Picture: Labisch/BIC Bremen)

 

The Bionic Award ceremony took place on 21 October 2016 in the context of the Bionic Congress "Patents from Nature" in Bremen. The team has developed structures for the energy-neutral directional transport of fluids on surfaces. Their role model: the Texas horned lizard.

With microscopically small channels, the Texas horned lizard collects water from its surroundings. It’s skin structure enables the lizard to transport water directionally to its mouth. The interdisciplinary team of biologists, engineers, computer scientists and physicists has derived functional principles from this and transferred them to plastic and metal surfaces. The innovation can be used in industry in many areas, whether in nappies or as lubrication in car engines.

“The phenomenon is based on the special geometry of the capillary channels. Through our interdisciplinary cooperation in the team, we were able to abstract this channel geometry and optimise the structure to the extent that industrial production is possible and that we can even transport liquids directionally against gravity” the freshly graduated doctor of biology and team speaker Dr. Philipp Comanns explains. With this idea, the young scientists convinced the international jury of experts.

Prof. Dr. Antonia B. Kesel from the Bremen University of Applied Sciences and Chair of the Jury and the VDI Bionics Department stresses: “Our international Jury was especially fascinated by the potential to apply a wide range of fluid films highly effectively and not less efficiently in varying areas of application. This promises a great market potential in many sectors, we can’t wait!”

In recognition of their work, Maryna Kavalenka, Felix Vüllers and Claudia Zeiger from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology also received a certificate for their project “Bioinspired Multifunctional Nanofur for Environmental Applications”.

The International Bionic Award of the Schauenburg Foundation in the Stifterverband für die deutsche Wissenschaft (Donors’ association for the promotion of humanities and sciences in Germany) is awarded by the VDI Society Technologies of Life Sciences (VDI-TLS). Bionics often acts as a source of ideas and an innovation driver with sustainable benefits for technology, business and society. “Interdisciplinary work and constructive lateral thinking are fundamental prerequisites in bionics and also the basis of success for companies”, says Marc-Georg Schauenburg, son of the founder of the Bionic Awards.

The Bionic Award has been endowed by the Schauenburg Foundation since 2008. It was established in 1986 by Hans-Georg Schauenburg, the founder of the Schauenburg Group, which has been active in Mülheim an der Ruhr for over fifty years, and is held in trust by the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft. With the award, the Schauenburg Foundation and the VDI pursue the goal of promoting practically orientated research results and development work as well as the innovations of young scientists in the area of bionics.

Your contact person at the VDI:
Dr. Ljuba Woppowa
VDI Society Technologies of Life Sciences (VDI-TLS)
Telephone: +49 211 6214-314
Fax: +49 211 6214-177
E-Mail: bionic@vdi.de