Bioinspired materials have strongly influenced scientific discoveries and engineering applications. This presentation will focus on a couple of bioinspired materials and their applications in water, energy, and healthcare. There are unique material needs during these distinct processes. For example, a super-repellent surface is favorable for water harvesting but a super-wetted surface is desirable for energy systems. Moreover, the durability of materials impedes engineering applications in sustainable operations. While we are puzzled by these challenges, nature does give us some amazing inspirations. In this talk, I will introduce a few nature-inspired interfacial materials and their potential impacts on water harvesting, energy transport, and healthcare. Particularly, the material durability in each application will be discussed.
Dr. Xianming (Simon) Dai is an assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering and Bioengineering at The University of Texas at Dallas. He is a recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2021 and the Army Research Office Young Investigator Award in 2019. He also earned the Outstanding Early Career Award at the 2021 micro Flow and Interfacial Phenomena Conference. His students won the ASME Best Poster Award in Micro and Nano Technology in 2019, and 1st place prize in the STEM Bridge Summer Program in 2018. Dr. Dai’s research interests include bioinspired materials, wetting, and thermal fluid with applications in water, energy and healthcare. In 2019, Nature Materials wrote a dedicated article to highlight his work on water harvesting. In 2016, the journal JALA selected his work on bioinspired slippery rough surfaces as one of the Top Ten Breakthroughs.