July 29, 2014  

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“Jellyfish-Inspired Engineering” Lecture Features Award-Winning Scientist

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Dr. John O. Dabiri

Dr. John O. Dabiri, Engineering and Applied Science Director, Center for Bioinspired Wind Energy, California Institute of Technology, will present “Jellyfish-Inspired Engineering” Tuesday April 23 at 6:30 p.m. at The University of Southern Mississippi’s Thad Cochran Center. 

The event is sponsored by the Southern Miss Honors College and the College of Science and Technology. 

Dabiri, a 2010 MacArthur Fellow, studies the design features at work in jellyfish and other fish species to solve engineering problems. Jellyfish are the oldest, simplest, and most successful species of swimming animal in the world. Yet they are primarily considered a nuisance on beaches or, at best, an attraction for aquarium-goers. 

 Dabiri will describe how a biology-inspired approach to engineering has placed jellyfish at the center of efforts to build next-generation underwater vehicles, design more versatile onshore wind power, and even to diagnose heart failure. In the process, his research uses engineering measurement techniques underwater, using SCUBA diving methods to study jellyfish and other fish species in their natural environment. 

Dabiri graduated from Princeton University with a B.S.E. degree summa cum laude in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University and earned an M.S. degree in Aeronautics, followed by a doctorate in Bioengineering with a minor in Aeronautics from Caltech.

His honors include an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) for his research in bio-inspired propulsion.

Popular Science magazine named him one of its “Brilliant 10” scientists for 2008 dubbed him the “jellyfish engineer.”  Bloomberg Businessweek magazine listed him among its Technology Innovators in 2012.

For more information, contact the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at 601.266.4701.