Part 3: Where to study Biomimetics in Europe?

Dear readers.

Before we start our summer break, we’d like to write a short update on our successful article series ‘Where to study Biomimetics in Europe’. In case you have not yet read the first two parts, here are the links to Part 1 and Part 2. We have the feeling, our series is a unique collection of possibilities to study Biomimetics in Europe and therefore we’d like to keep you updated on new courses, we found out about. And additionally, we think it’s important to inform about changes and new information about some courses – for example the Master program ‘Bionik/ Biomimetics in Energy Systems’ in Villach, which Jan wrote about two weeks ago (find link here).

 

Today though, we are presenting three (at least to us) new opportunities to study Biomimetics in Europe:

 

In Kufstein/ Tirol (Austria) you can study Bio Inspired Engineering at the University of Applied Sciences. The course is for post-graduates, meaning a Bachelor degree in technical or natural sciences and at least three years of working experience are required for admission. Additionally you need an English certificate, because the course is taught in English (find all details on the website). Besides ‘pure’ Biomimetics, the Master program focuses on teaching technical principles to apply Biomimetics, biology basics for engineers and of course a detailed research project: the Master thesis. The course is brand new and starts with its first students in November 2017. It is a great opportunity for students of middle Europe who are interested in Biomimetics and a great step forward for the Biomimetics community in Austria. You can still apply until the end of October – so maybe this would be interesting for you?

 

At the University of Pisa (Italy) the Master program Bionics Engineering is running since 2015. It is a two years study course as a joint project of the University of Pisa (UNIPI) and the Scoula Superiore Sant’ Anna (SSSA) in Pisa. It runs under the heading of ‘Biomedical engineering’ – so robotics and Biomimetics in the medical field are a major focus here. The program consist of many different modules – some are compulsory and some elective – in the first year, for example ‘Biomechanics of human motion’, ‘Bioinspired computational methods’ or ‘Electronics for bionics engineering’. In the second year of the program, you can choose between the curriculum ‘Neural engineering’ or the curriculum ‘Biorobotics’ to gain more specific know-how. Besides this interesting selection of modules, I guess the Tuscany is not the worst place to spend a few years of your life. 🙂

 

From Austria and Italy, let’s take a look at Great Britain – or more specifically the University of Bristol in southern England. Here, no ‘pure’ Biomimetics course exists, but two Master programs have Biomimetics as an optional focus in the curriculum. The first one is the MSc Advanced Composites, running for one year and starting in September. It has the optional unit to focus on ‘Nature’s Materials: Biomimetics, Biomaterials and Sustainability’. The course is based on the Advanced Composites Centre for Innovation and Science and has many industrial contacts – so this is really something for students who want to work in the applied sciences. To be accepted in this course, you need an upper second-class honours degree (or an equivalent) in an engineering discipline.

A second interesting Master program at the University of Bristol is the MSc Robotics with courses on ‘Bio-inspired artificial intelligence’, ‘Biomechanics’ or ‘Advanced techniques in multidisciplinary design’. Like the MSc Advances Composites you can fulfill the program in one year full-time, but here you also have the possibility to study part-time for two years. As the name says, focus of the program are robotic systems and the course is situated at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory. Also here you need an upper second-class honours degree (or an equivalent) in engineering or alternatively in physics, mathematics or a related subject. Also students from other disciplines can be considered – just check out the website and get in touch with the program staff.

 

So, I think those three programs with a direct or optional link to Biomimetics are especially interesting for undergraduates of engineering disciplines who did already work and would like to get even more qualified with an additional degree.

Do you maybe already have some experiences with some of the mentioned courses?

Or did our post maybe lead you to applying for one of them and you will start to study one of the Master courses this year? We would be highly interested in hearing your experiences!

Of course we are always happy to get some hints to other options to study Biomimetics in Europe, we did not yet blog about. Part 4 is hopefully coming soon and if you have any suggestions for this article series, please do not hesitate to contact us via mail, a comment or facebook.

Thank you very much!

Katharina Bunk

My name is Katharina Bunk, I am 26 years old and work as a PhD student in the ‘Plant Biomechanics Group’ in the beautiful city of Freiburg. I studied Biology at the University of Munich followed by the Master program ‘Bionik/ Biomimetics in Energy Systems’ in Villach/ Austria. I am especially interested in Botany and therefore chose Plant Biomechanics as my main field of research.

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