Mariana Viegas Greco de Oliveira, Brazil

Mariana began her studies in Metallurgical Engineering in 2010 at Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, with complementary formation in Materials Engineering. From 2012 to 2013, she took part on a one-year exchange programme at Saarland University in Germany. During this time abroad, she had the opportunity to work at the Leibniz Institute for New Materials, when she had first contact with biomimetics. There, she worked on two projects related to biological materials: characterisation of micro- and nanomechanical properties of nacre, a natural ceramic composite with enhanced toughness behaviour; and the characterisation of tribomechanical properties of periostracum, a polymer coating of shells with remarkable wear resistance. At the EURO BioMAT 2013, her presentation about her work on biological materials was awarded the third best poster prize.

She is currently engaged on an industrial internship at Vallourec do Brasil S.A. Upon completing her engineering degree in 2015, she seeks for a post-graduate position in Surface Engineering, with a possible coupling with bioinspired surface design.

Biomimetics: What can nature teach an engineer?

Nature has had millions of years to develop and optimise biological materials for almost every environment on the planet, from deserts to the North Pole. With such extensive experience, nature has found fascinating solutions to design materials that regularly defy classical concepts; materials that combine high mechanical strength and toughness, self-cleaning surfaces of even self-healing materials. The remarkable properties of biological materials have long been the subject of interest for materials scientists and engineers. Academics and industry have much to learn and earn from the solutions that already exist in biological materials, yet the challenge of understanding and engineering such materials remains. Biomimetics might be just a buzzword now, but it is likely the key for developing a new class of high performance materials for the future. This talk will discuss the highlights of bioinspired materials and their foreseen applications.

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