Plant-Flow Interactions: biomechanics and bioinspiration

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

2:30-3:45 PM

115 Goodwin Hall

Liviu Librescu Memorial Seminar Dr. Emmanuel de Langre
Department of Mechanics
Ecole Polytechnique, Paris, France


The interactions between external flow and plants are fascinating, by the variety of geometries, motions, sizes and mechanisms involved. They also play an important role in the life of plants, and are a new source of bioinspiration, based on very robust solutions. I will summarize some of the main topics involved, from static interactions to dynamics interactions, at the scale of leaves, whole plants and canopies. At each step I will try to underline the biomimetic perspectives and will exemplify this particularly on drag reduction and on vibration damping. Emphasis will be on the specificities of plant biomechanics, in comparison with general biomechanics and fluid or solid mechanical engineering.


Emmanuel de Langre is Professor of Mechanics in Ecole Polytechnique, Paris, France. He  received his Ph.D. in Fracture Mechanics (1984)  and then worked until 1997 as an engineer in the French nuclear industry. He then joined Ecole Polytechnique to start a group on fluid-structure interactions. He is presently the Chief Editor of the Journal of Fluids and Structures. His present research interests are in broad field of fluid-structure interaction (FSI) and include bio-mechanics, energy harvesting based on FSI, vortex-induced vibrations, wind effects and aeroelasticity. In particular he studies the mechanical effects in living systems, specifically in the interactions of fluids and solids.