Sabin, Jones and Lucia of PennDesign and the School of Medicine awarded $2,000,000 (NSF) EFRI-SEED grant!

Fri. 10 September

 "Energy Minimization via Multi-Scalar Architectures: From Cell Contractility to Sensing Materials to Adaptive Building Skins".

Sabin, Jones and Lucia of PennDesign & the School of Medicine along with Yang, Engheta and Van der Spiegel of the School of Engineering and Applied Science awarded $2,000,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) EFRI-SEED grant! The title of their awarded proposal is: "Energy Minimization via Multi-Scalar Architectures: From Cell Contractility to Sensing Materials to Adaptive Building Skins". EFRI stands for "Emerging Frontiers in Research Innovation" and the subtopic SEED stands for "Science in Energy and Environmental Design". Their proposal seeks to explore materiality from nano- to macroscales based upon understanding of non-linear, dynamic human cell behaviors on geometrically-defined substrates. The insights as to how cells can modify their immediate extracellular matrix (ECM) microenvironment with minimal energy and maximal effect will lead to the biomimetic design and engineering of highly aesthetic, passive materials, and sensors and imagers that will be integrated into responsive building skins at the architectural scale.

Their proposal is one of 10 selected across the nation for a full award. This trans-disciplinary project is spearheaded by Dr. Shu Yang(PI/SEAS), Jenny Sabin (Co-PI/SOD), Dr. Peter Lloyd Jones (Co-PI/SOM), Dr. Nader Engheta (Co-PI/SEAS), Dr. Jan Van der Spiegel (Co-PI/SEAS), Andrew Lucia (senior personnel/SOD).

Importantly, this grant required one Co-PI to be an architectural designer. The Sabin+Jones LabStudio (including scientists in the Jones Lab; LabStudio Research and Design Associates, PennDesign graduate students in the Sabin+Jones ARCH 745 elective) also played an important role during the highly competitive review stages as the collaboration exemplifies a successful and novel proof-of-principle research and educational model in trans-disciplinary research and design.