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Fall 2023 GRASP SFI: David Lentink, University of Groningen, “Avian Inspired Design”

September 20, 2023 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

This was a hybrid event with in-person attendance in Levine 307 and virtual attendance. This week’s speaker was virtual. 


My lab focusses on understanding every aspect of bird flight to improve flying robots—because birds fly further, longer, and more reliable in complex visual and wind environments. I use a multidisciplinary lens that integrates biomechanics, sensorimotor control and organismal & evolutionary biology with aerospace engineering, robotics and aerodynamics to advance our systems understanding of avian flight. The experimental approaches range from flying birds in custom-designed flight arenas, scanning their 3D shape at high-speed and unraveling their musculoskeletal control strategies to making innovative direct aerodynamic force measurements in flight. I will show how these and other ongoing studies in my lab have inspired new biohybrid soft morphing aerial robots that we design and fly in my lab.


David Lentink

David Lentink

David Lentink is Full Professor at the University of Groningen and studies how birds fly to develop better flying robots. He has a BS and MS in Aerospace Engineering (Aerodynamics, Delft University of Technology) and a PhD in Experimental Zoology cum laude (Wageningen University). During his PhD he visited the Bioengineering department at the California Institute of Technology for 9 months to study insect flight. His postdoctoral training at Harvard was focused on studying bird flight. Before moving to Groningen, he directed his bird wind tunnel research lab at Stanford. Publications range from technical journals to cover publications in Nature and Science. He is an alumnus of the Young Academy of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, recipient of the Dutch Academic Year Prize and NSF CAREER award, he was recognized in 2013 as one of 40 scientists under 40 by the World Economic Forum, by the National Academy of Engineering as Gilbreth Lecturer, and he is the inaugural winner of the Steven Vogel Young Investigator Award.


September 20, 2023
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


Levine 307
3330 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19104 United States
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