Texas A&M’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Department: Environmental, Water Resources, and Coastal Engineering Graduate Seminar

Honored to have been invited to give a graduate seminar in A&M’s Civil Engineering Department for the Environmental, Water Resources, and Coastal Engineering students. Feel free to virtually stop by if you’re free, I’ll be talking about my research regarding “Bio-Inspired System Design: Using Nature to Improve the Resilience and Sustainability of Our Water Networks.”

Seminar Abstract: Biological ecosystems have been through millions of years of R&D, producing complex networks of interacting species that are able to support individual needs while maintaining system-level functions. In this talk Dr. Layton will show that biological networks offer a relatively untapped source of design inspiration for improving the sustainability and resilience of our water distribution networks. Quantitative descriptors and analysis techniques are adapted from ecology through close collaboration with ecologists, enabling desirable ecosystem characteristics to be used as optimization guides for industrial water networks. Characteristics such as a high level of cycling of materials/energy within the system and a unique balance between redundant and efficient pathways are connected back to the achievement of traditional engineering goals such as cost and robustness.

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