BMET5944: Bioinspired Materials: Design and Fabrication (2021 - Semester 2)

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Unit: BMET5944: Bioinspired Materials: Design and Fabrication (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Postgraduate
Faculty/School: School of Biomedical Engineering
Unit Coordinator/s: Dr Mirkhalaf Valashani, Seyed Mohammad
Session options: Semester 2
Versions for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: None.
Brief Handbook Description: BMET5944 equips students with the state-of-the-art knowledge about the design and development of new generations of multifunctional materials by learning from nature.

The course covers: (a) the construction, deformation and failure behaviour of hard and soft natural materials which confer them with outstanding mechanical properties and multi-functionalities such as shape-morphing, self-healing and damage sensing, (b) the fabrication techniques to implement similar principles in engineering materials in order to improve their performance, (c) the theoretical and experimental approaches to study the mechanics of resulting materials, and (d) examples of bioinspired materials in industries, current challenges of the field and future perspectives.
Assumed Knowledge: 1000-level materials science and mechanics.

Attributes listed here represent the key course goals (see Course Map tab) designated for this unit. The list below describes how these attributes are developed through practice in the unit. See Learning Outcomes and Assessment tabs for details of how these attributes are assessed.

Attribute Development Method Attribute Developed
During the lecture and tutorials, the students will learn how to use and drive equations to explain the mechanics of natural materials that are usually composites of hard and soft phases. The students will also learn about simple fracture mechanics to explain why natural materials are tougher than their constituents. (1) Maths/ Science Methods and Tools (Level 3)
The students will develop a deep understanding of the structure-performance relationships in biological and bio-inspired materials. (2) Engineering/ IT Specialisation (Level 3)
During the lectures/tutorials, we will always ask students about their ideas on how to solve a challenge before introducing the solution. In the assignments, team presentation, and exams, we will ask questions that will promote the problem-solving ability of the students. The student will be familiarized with some of the innovative (and sometime quite simple) techniques to solve challenging problems in engineering and science. (3) Problem Solving and Inventiveness (Level 3)
The students will learn that development of novel bio-inspired materials requires knowledge in biology, materials science and mechanics and will learn about all these during the lectures and tutorials. (5) Interdisciplinary, Inclusiveness, Influence (Level 3)
Their research skills will be improved by working on the final project on a subject of their interest relevant to bioinspiration. (6) Communication and Inquiry/ Research (Level 3)
The students will practice effective communication in their group assessments and presentation to the class. (7) Project and Team Skills (Level 3)

For explanation of attributes and levels see Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018.

Learning outcomes are the key abilities and knowledge that will be assessed in this unit. They are listed according to the course goal supported by each. See Assessment Tab for details how each outcome is assessed.

(6) Communication and Inquiry/ Research (Level 3)
1. Effective communications to exchange/discuss ideas in classroom and in the group project/presentation.
(7) Project and Team Skills (Level 3)
2. Critical thinking in literature review, and ability to work in a team for the assignments and the group project.
(5) Interdisciplinary, Inclusiveness, Influence (Level 3)
3. General knowledge in biology, mechanics, and materials and their intersections. The ability to go deeper in each of these fronts.
(2) Engineering/ IT Specialisation (Level 3)
4. Understanding of the structure-performance relationship in structurally complex materials and ability to interpret their force-displacement (or stress-strain) curves
(3) Problem Solving and Inventiveness (Level 3)
5. Ability to tackle problems from different angles, knowing the power of simple but innovative solutions.
(1) Maths/ Science Methods and Tools (Level 3)
6. Ability to drive equations that describe the elasticity and fracture of biological (i.e. composite) materials.
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Mechanics of composite materials quiz No 10.00 Week 3 5, 6,
2 Structure and mechanics of biological materials No 20.00 Week 7 4, 5, 6,
3 Bio-inspired materials; fabrication/mechanics Yes 20.00 Week 10 3, 4, 6,
4 Participation in class discussions Yes 10.00 Multiple Weeks 1, 2, 5,
5 Group presentation Yes 10.00 Week 13 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
6 Final exam No 30.00 Exam Period 3, 4, 5, 6,
Assessment Description: Mechanics of composite materials quiz: A written quiz covering lecture and tutorial material on mechanics of composite materials.

Structure and mechanics of biological materials quiz: A paper-based quiz covering lecture and tutorial material on the structure and structure-mechanics relationships in biological materials.

Bio-inspired materials; fabrication/mechanics: A group homework on the pros and cons of different manufacturing approaches for bioinspired materials, and different approaches to study their mechanics.

Participation: physical presence and participation in class discussions. Critical and innovative thinking ability.

Group presentation: short presentation discussing the findings on a subject of interest to the students and related to the course: we discuss and agree on the subjects with students early in the semester.

Final exam: Written final exam covering the whole course material.
Assessment Feedback: Feedback will be provided on Canvas.
Recommended Reference/s: Note: References are provided for guidance purposes only. Students are advised to consult these books in the university library. Purchase is not required.
  • Engineered Biomimicry

Note that the "Weeks" referred to in this Schedule are those of the official university semester calendar https://web.timetable.usyd.edu.au/calendar.jsp

Week Description
Week 1 Lecture/Tutorial: Why Bioinspiration? (introduction and course overview)
Week 2 Lecture/Tutorial: Mechanics I (elasticity, viscoelasticity)
Week 3 Lecture/Tutorial: Mechanics II (fracture)
Assessment Due: Quiz, in session
Assessment Due: Mechanics of composite materials quiz
Week 4 Lecture/Tutorial: Biological polymers and elastomers, growth and structure (skin, tendon, silk)
Week 5 Lecture/Tutorial: Highly mineralized biological materials, growth and structure (sea shells, bone, cuticle, glass spong skeleton)
Week 6 Lecture/Tutorial: Mechanics and multifunctionality of Biological materials I (deformation)
Week 7 Assessment Due: midterm (in-class quiz)
Lecture/Tutorial: Mechanics and multifunctionality of Biological materials II (fracture)
Assessment Due: Structure and mechanics of biological materials
Week 8 Lecture/Tutorial: Bioinspired materials I; design, fabrication (biomineralization, 3D printing, mix-assembly, self-assembly), and mechanics
Week 9 Lecture/Tutorial: Bioinspired materials II; design, fabrication (freeze-casting, laser engraving), and mechanics II
Week 10 Lecture/Tutorial: Bioinspired bioglasses, and bioceramics (chemistry, development, structure and mechanics)
Assessment Due: Quiz, in session
Assessment Due: Bio-inspired materials; fabrication/mechanics
Week 11 Lecture/Tutorial: Shape morphing, and multifunctional materials in nature and their synthetic counterparts I (fish fins, pinecone, plant stem, tree branch)
Week 12 Lecture/Tutorial: Adhesive materials in nature and their synthetic counter parts II (mussel byssus, lotus leaves)
Week 13 Assessment Due: Group presentations
Lecture/Tutorial: Course reflection, exam preparation.
Assessment Due: Group presentation
Exam Period Assessment Due: Final exam

Course Relations

The following is a list of courses which have added this Unit to their structure.

Course Year(s) Offered
Biomedical Mid-Year 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Biomedical/ Project Management 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Biomedical 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Biomedical / Arts 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Biomedical / Commerce 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Biomedical / Medical Science 2017
Biomedical / Music Studies 2017
Biomedical / Project Management 2017, 2018
Biomedical /Science 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Biomedical/Science (Health) 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Biomedical / Law 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Biomedical/Science (Medical Science Stream) 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Master of Engineering 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Master of Professional Engineering (Accelerated) (Biomedical) 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Master of Professional Engineering (Biomedical) 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022

Course Goals

This unit contributes to the achievement of the following course goals:

Attribute Practiced Assessed
(6) Communication and Inquiry/ Research (Level 3) Yes 7.5%
(7) Project and Team Skills (Level 3) Yes 7%
(8) Professional Effectiveness and Ethical Conduct (Level 3) No 0%
(5) Interdisciplinary, Inclusiveness, Influence (Level 3) Yes 18.5%
(4) Design (Level 3) No 0%
(2) Engineering/ IT Specialisation (Level 3) Yes 23.5%
(3) Problem Solving and Inventiveness (Level 3) Yes 21%
(1) Maths/ Science Methods and Tools (Level 3) Yes 22.5%

These goals are selected from Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018 which defines overall goals for courses where this unit is primarily offered. See Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018 for details of the attributes and levels to be developed in the course as a whole. Percentage figures alongside each course goal provide a rough indication of their relative weighting in assessment for this unit. Note that not all goals are necessarily part of assessment. Some may be more about practice activity. See Learning outcomes for details of what is assessed in relation to each goal and Assessment for details of how the outcome is assessed. See Attributes for details of practice provided for each goal.