My daughter’s eyelashes, the tiger’s tongue, and other grooming devices -Dr. David Hu, Georgia Institute of Technology

Lecture: Tuesday, February 7th at 2pm at ICE 7-395, University of Alberta

tiger-1

Animals are automated cleaning machines.  They are covered with specialized hairs and spikes that can remove and even prevent particles from landing in the first place, using methods that have no modern equivalent.  In this talk, I discuss how animals groom, from labradors to tigers.  We use high-speed and time-lapse videography to show how dogs shake off water, eyelashes deflect air flow, and cats keep their fur clean.  Special attention is paid to using theoretical models and advances in 3D printing to discovering new principles in soft, self-cleaning systems.

Dr. David Hu is a mechanical engineer who studies the interactions of animals with water.  He has discovered how dogs shake dry, how insects walk on water, and how eyelashes protect the eyes from drying.  He was awarded the 2015 Ig Nobel Prize in Physics, and defended basic research in a Scientific American article, “Confessions of a wasteful scientist.”. Originally from Rockville, Maryland, he earned degrees in mathematics and mechanical engineering from M.I.T., and is now Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Biology and Adjunct Professor of Physics at Georgia Tech.  His work has been featured in The Economist, The New York Times, Saturday Night Live, Good Morning America, and Highlights for Children.  He is an editorial board member of Nature Scientific Reports and The Journal of Experimental Biology.

Photo credit: Ilya Naymushin/Reuters

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