BiSSL Student Led PLOS ONE Publication

We can finally share this open access PLOS ONE publication “A quantitative engineering study of ecosystem robustness using thermodynamic power cycles as case studies” written with MS BiSSL alumni Varuneswara Panyam (TAMU graduate December 2019). Understanding the characteristics of biological systems from an engineering perspective is an important part of bio-inspired engineering design!

ABSTRACT: Human networks and engineered systems are traditionally designed to maximize efficiency. Ecosystems on the other hand, achieve long-term robustness and sustainability by maintaining a unique balance between pathway efficiency and redundancy, measured in terms of the number of flow pathways available for a given unit of flow at any node in the network. Translating this flow-based ecosystem robustness into an engineering context supports the creation of new robust and sustainable design guidelines for engineered systems. Thermodynamic cycles provide good examples of human systems where simple and clearly defined modifications can be made to increase efficiency. Twenty-three variations on the Brayton and Rankine cycles are used to understand the relationship between design decisions that maximize a system’s efficient use of energy (measured by thermodynamic first law efficiency) and ecological measures of robustness and structural efficiency. The results reveal that thermodynamic efficiency and ecological pathway efficiency do not always correlate and that while on average modifications to increase energy efficiency reduce the robustness of the system, the engineering understanding of ecological network design presented here can enable decisions that are able to increase both energy efficiency and robustness.

PLOS ONE (2019) “A quantitative engineering study of ecosystem robustness using thermodynamic power cycles as case studies” Panyam, V. and Layton, A.

2 BiSSL Papers Accepted to the 27th CIRP-Life Cycle Engineering Conference

Two BiSSL students, MS student Colton Brehm and PhD student Abheek Chatterjee, have had full papers accepted to 2020’s CIRP LCE conference! The 2020 conference focuses on “the role that engineering must play in the achievement of the sustainable future that people wish.” The conference this year is hosted by Grenoble INP – Institut d’Ingénierie Univ. Grenoble Alpes and will be held in Grenoble, France May 13-15, 2020.

  • Abheek Chatterjee, Colton Brehm, and Astrid Layton (2020) “Mimicking the nested structures of ecosystems in the design of industrial water networks.”
  • Abheek Chatterjee and Astrid Layton (2020) “Bio-inspired Design for Sustainable and Resilient Supply Chains.”