Digital Forum
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22 - 26 March 2021
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"Look deep into nature and you will understand everything better." - Albert Einstein

Ant Leaf Cutter

San Diego Zoo Global

SPIE has partnered with the San Diego Zoo to promote the value of bioinspired engineering design. We began this collaboration in 2011, when the SPIE conference, Bioinspiration, Biomimetics, and Bioreplication moved to the SPIE Smart Structures/NDE symposium. The San Diego Zoo joined the event with a special animal presentation as a way to illustrate the value of bioinspiration.

The San Diego Zoo Centre for Bioinspiration advances the creation and development of nature-inspired products and processes that benefit humanity, wildlife, and habitats.  Established in 2006, San Diego Zoo Global's bioinspiration effort connects international academic, public, and industrial sectors to accelerate innovation inspired by nature. The Centre conducts corporate innovation services, partnered development projects, education and outreach.

To learn more, please visit:

SPIE + The San Diego Zoo Animal Ambassadors:

View conference videos of past Animal Ambassadors:

Martin - The Caiman Lizard 2015
"Martin" - The Caiman Lizard 2015 
2015 Animal Ambassador

Tipu - The Anteater 2014
"Tipu" - The Anteater 2014 
2014 Animal Ambassador

Monty - The Python 2013
"Monty" - The Python 2013 
2013 Animal Ambassador

Shaman - The Great Horned Owl 2012
"Shaman" - The Great Horned Owl 2012 
"2012 Animal Ambassador 

Left a green insect, right the most effective decoy tested Emerald Ash Borer and Decoy

What's been in the news:
Conference Chair, Prof. Akhlesh Lakhtakia, Pennsylvania State University Fellow Member puts bio-replication research to work with his development of a "female emerald 'ash borer' decoy" - see the full story.

SPIE Bio-Inspiration Speakers:

James Danoff-Burg of the San Diego Zoo Plenary from SPIE Smart Structures/ NDE 2012 

Dr. Alison B. Flatau Video

Alison B. Flatau, Professor of Aerospace Engineering, at the University of Maryland, is a long-standing supporter of SS/NDE. She speaks here about the 'new' movement that surrounds bioinspired design.