About this course

In biomimetics, the structure and function of biological systems are studied to inspire the design of materials, surfaces, instruments, buildings, processes etc. This course addresses basic skills required for conducting biomimetic research and development. The students are introduced to a range of important topics, such as:

  • state-of-the-art and history of biomimetics;
  • concepts of biomimetic design;
  • the design process (e.g., morphological charts, Structure-Behaviour-Function modeling);
  • techniques for analysing biological systems (e.g., Biocards, dimensional analysis);
  • tools for design realisation;
  • design evaluation.

In addition to topic discussions, practical work consisting of a mini-research project will apply the studied concepts. Small, interdisciplinary groups of students will analyse the functions and mechanics of a biological system, test the underlying physics using synthetic replicas, and translate the acquired knowledge into a biomimetic research and design project proposal. The topics that will be addressed to help identify and translate bioinspired solutions include for instance:

  • functional surfaces;

  • flight systems;

  • robotics;

  • medical instruments;

  • material science;

  • industrial design.

Students deliver written and oral group presentations of the mini-research project.

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:

  • Use the language from different fields in order to communicate effectively about biomimetics in an interdisciplinary group environment
  • Describe the subfields of biomimetics, ranging from robotics to medicine to industrial design
  • Use reverse engineering to measure functional aspects of a biological system, such as adhesive and aerodynamic performance
  • Identify the biomimetic potential (and limitations) of biological systems
  • Design biomimetic technical systems by the abstraction, transfer and application of knowledge gained from biological systems
  • Plan and execute a mini-research project, including a written report and an oral presentation

Required prior knowledge

Mandatory Knowledge:
ZSS06100 Laboratory Safety
Assumed Knowledge:
Mathematics (MAT14803, MAT14903)

Link to more information

If anything remains unclear, please check the FAQ of Wageningen University.


  • Start date

    10 February 2025

    • Ends
      7 March 2025
    • Term *
      Period 4
    • Location
    • Instruction language
    • Register between
      1 Jun, 00:00 - 12 Jan 2025
These offerings are valid for students of Utrecht University