University of Alabama’s Dr. Amy Lang researching practical applications of butterfly, shark scales

By Associated Engineering Press

Horsepower allows cars to move faster with more power. Fins allow surfers to maneuver their boards through the water. In the case of a plane crash, passengers evacuate onto the wing. Often, engineers mimic forces in nature to improve the way man-made objects function.

University of Alabama aerospace engineering professor Dr. Amy Lang received two grants from the National Science Foundation to research how the functions of shark and butterfly scales can translate to man-made solutions. Potential applications include more effective helicopter blades, higher quality sporting equipment and an improved fuel economy for cars.  She calls this kind of research bio-inspired flow control.

In 1837, The University of Alabama became one of the first five universities in the nation to offer engineering classes. Today, UA’s College of Engineering has more than 5,800 students and more than 150 faculty. In recent years, students in the College have been named USA Today All-USA College Academic Team members, Goldwater, Hollings, Portz, Boren, Mitchell and Truman scholars.

Author: Associated Engineering Press    /    Posted on: February 21, 2014    /    Posted in:   Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics, Faculty and Staff, In The News, Research    /    Features: