Ariana Rupp

WP_20150821_012_cropOlá, mundo! I’m a new biomimicry fellow from Portugal. I will be team-working with UAkron faculty and a corporate sponsor, Nottingham Spirk, under the guidance of Dr. Peter Niewiarowski.

My way to biomimicry was a turbulent evolution. I started by following an undergraduate course in physics engineering to develop a holistic view of the physical world. Fundamental principles could help me solve problems of very different natures and at very different scales. However, extrapolation to everyday-life situations, where countless external factors cannot be predicted or controlled, is tricky.

Thus, I realized to have a personal preference for applied science, and felt the need to see a more direct connection of my projects to the real world, society, and its practical problems. This motivated me to graduate in product design, a different field with closer links to industry.

Such move provided a first contact with biomimetic technology / design methodologies. My bursting fascination was then consolidated by the curious work of Leonardo da Vinci, Theo Jansen, Neri Oxman and FESTO.

The lack of structured or well-established interdisciplinary research areas in Portugal inspired me to look for international alternatives. Fulbright scholarships emerged as an interesting shortcut. Hopefully I will learn much from this new opportunity and contribute to the biomimicry scene in my home country, which has never-ending sun, powerful ocean and lots of unexplored bio-know-how.