School of Design Prof. Trogu and Prof. Linn win a DRC award from SF State for “Design of New Metamaterials”

Sunday, December 02, 2018

Trogu and Linn will receive $13,917 from SFSU’s Research and Scholarly Activity Fund, to design new materials whose properties are determined more by their underlying geometry and less by their specific molecular composition: think “flexible ceramics" and “stretchable steel”. Metamaterials – also called architected or architectured materials – are advanced materials that employ novel macro- or microscopic geometries to achieve unusual physical properties, generally produced using new manufacturing techniques such as 3D-printing. Some of their applications include medical devices and aerospace engineering.

The DRC (Development of Research and Creativity) award will support Trogu and Linn’s ongoing collaboration with the Department of Bio-Mechanical Engineering at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), the Netherlands. Together, they aim to develop a new geometric approach for the design of bio-inspired metamaterials, in which the shape and volume of 3D lattices (honeycombs) can be programmed and controlled using origami folding techniques.

Pino Trogu (P.I., left) and Silvan Linn hold geometric models of a DNA double helix and a reconfigurable, cubic modular chain. Both models were designed by Trogu’s Italian high school teacher and mentor Giorgio Scarpa, whose 1970s pioneering work in topology and bionics form the basis of this current metamaterials research.