Part 1:Where to study Biomimetics in Europe?

Did you know that you can study Biomimetics at several universities/ universities of applied sciences in Europe?

Even though Biomimetics is a very young field of science, it is starting to get more and more into university education as a popular subject. A detailed list and a lot of links to institutions where you can study Biomimetics are listed on the BIOKON platform.

Generally there are two ways, how you can study Biomimetics. Either as the independent subject ‘Bionik’ (for example as a Bachelor program in Bocholt or Bremen and as a Master program in Villach or Bremen) or as a specialty of Biology or Engineering courses (for example in Freiburg, Berlin or Aachen).

In this article and the following one next week, I would like to present you some of these programs of ‘Biomimetics’. We collected information and personal opinions from colleagues and friends, who studied (or are still studying) Biomimetics. Maybe you get interested and curious to learn more about some of them..?

 

Bionik – Bachelor of Science

Westphalian University of Applied Sciences

The Bachelor program ‘Bionik’ at the Westphalian University of Applied Sciences can either be studied 3 years as a ‘normal’ Bachelor or in 4 years, when you are working simultaneously. Classes are not as big as at universities (less than 100 students in the last years) allowing students and lecturers to work together in a familiar atmosphere. The program involves a lot of practical project works. Students can work on diverse topics in small groups and apply their know-how – or simply try to realize their ideas or visions. For example: imagine you are given the general topic ‘Water in the Future’, a small financial budget and the support of two students of agriculture to plan a project and develop a demonstrator? Sounds challenging? Mostly exciting! And it takes a lot of creativity besides expert knowledge to manage something like that. Subjects which are taught are for example Maths, Chemistry or Lightweight Engineering but also different computer programs such as MatLab or LateX are part of the program.

Got interested? More information about ‘Bionik’ in Bocholt here. Special thanks to Max & Matthias, who both studied the Bachelor program ‘Bionik’ at the Westphalian University of Applied Science and shared their experiences with us.

 

Bionik/ Biomimetics in Energy System – Master of Science

Carinthia University of Applied Sciences Villach

As you probably have notice by now – this Master program is where the Blogionik crew is coming from :-). In Villach, students with very different backgrounds – for example Biology, Environmental Sciences, Mechanical Engineering or Civil Engineering are thrown into one classroom and taught each other’s languages via basic courses in Biology, Engineering and Programming. In lots of project works, mixed teams of biologists and engineers are working on projects via combining different know-hows. They are learning from each other and have to solve problems in completely new and creative ways (as some engineering students never concerned themselves with biological solutions before). In the course ‘Biomimetics in Energy Systems’ a lot of international students are coming together and: some of them are keeping up their cooperation after completing the course :-).

You can read about a lot of projects which originated in the Master program in Villach on our blog – but if you want to know more about the theory behind the course, find more information here.

 

Biology (focus: Biomechanics/ Biomimetics) – Bachelor of Science + Master of Science

University of Freiburg

At the University of Freiburg there is no separate program which teaches ‘Biomimetics’. Still, as a student of Biology you have the chance to specialize in this direction via choosing the subjects ‘Functional morphology, Biomechanics and Biomimetics’ in the Bachelor program of Biology as well as ‘Applied Biology’ in the Master program. Besides these courses, giving theoretical as well as practical input in the field of Biomimetics, you get the whole package of other biological subjects such as Genetics, Biochemistry, Neurobiology and many more as part of studying Biology. Via this concept, students get to know Biomimetics on top of basic studies of biology. This guarantees that they have the necessary background knowledge to understand biological principles and know where to look for biological concept generators.  A lot of students already know at the beginning of their studies that they want to specialize in Biomimetics and can therefore also choose other subjects according to their interest (for example Ecology to study biodiversity or Biophysics, to tackle biological questions with the help of physics).

Want to know more about Biomimetics at the University of Freiburg? Then visit the homepage of the Plant Biomechanics Group for more information. A big thanks to Max, currently writing his Master Thesis, and Tim, PhD student, who both studied Biology in Freiburg and specialized in the field of Biomimetics/ Biomechanics.

 

Did you have the chance to study Biomimetics somewhere in the world and want to share your experiences with us? We are looking forward to reading your comments and discuss about different ways to study Biomimetics.

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.

4 Comments

  1. mehdi   •  

    Hi , what about Bremen University at Germany ????

    • Jan Berger   •  

      Hi mehdi,

      part 2 of the article will be published tomorrow. Something tells me, that there could be a part about Bremen 😉

      kind regards,
      Jan

  2. Manuel   •  

    Hi Katharina and congratilations for your publication.

    Just to go beyond the central Europe 😉 I´d like to tell you that at IED (Istituto Europeo di Design) in Madrid, we offer a 32 h program fully inmersed in the biomimicry perspective with 3 approaches: re-connect with Nature, open the solution space to designers and problem-solving bioinspired methods…
    At the same time I´ve started an unofficial short WS of basic Biomimicry with Biomimicry Iberia (Spain) and Biomimika (Belgium). This will be appoved by certain Uni with time.

    Thanks
    Manuel

    More info in natureinspireus.wordpress.com

    • Katharina Bunk   •     Author

      Hi Manuel!
      Thank you very much for your comment and the information about Biomimicry in Spain.
      It sounds like you’d have some nice options to work on Biomimetics getting started 🙂
      We would be happy to stay in touch and learn more about your worksop and the cooperation with Biomimika in the future!
      All the best,
      Kathi

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