List of all ME courses

4 Credits
Spring term, odd years

Graduate standing
Rob Stone
216 Dearborn Hall

Course Description

Bio-inspired design (BID) is an emerging research area at the intersection of design and biology that seeks to systematically mine biological knowledge to solve design problems. The key aspect of BID is utilizing the similarities noted in nature for a particular problem to bring inspiration to the designer. This course will investigate inspiration from nature from three different types: visual, conceptual, and computational.


  • Introduction to Analogy
  • Biomimicry vs Bio-inspiration
  • Databases for Bio-inspired design
  • Functional Modeling
  • BioTRIZ
  • Bio-inspired optimization

Learning Outcomes

The student, upon successful completion of this course, will be able to:

  1. Differentiate biological phenomena to support inspiration for visual, conceptual and algorithmic design problems
  2. Create engineered solutions to customer needs utilizing a variety of bio-inspiration techniques.
  3. Compare the state of the art BID design tools and methodologies.
  4. Select the appropriate strategy or optimal solution based on bio-inspired algorithms