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Congratulations to Assistant Professor¬†Daphne Klotsa, who has been selected for an NSF-CAREER award! The vision of the award is to design a new and distinct class of materials by putting together active components to create active or “living” materials. Daphne takes inspiration from flocks of birds and schools of fish, trying to understand the rules and the physics behind their spectacular patterns and cooperative behavior.

Daphne Klotsa

Assistant Professor Daphne Klotsa

In the same way that schools of fish respond to predators, swarms of bacteria swim towards nutrients, or skin heals itself when wounded, an artificial active material of self-propelled colloids or insect drones can respond to stimuli, restore coherence of the flock, in essence “self-heal”, adapt, store energy and information, assemble and disassemble at will.

Daphne and her lively research group are also developing educational and outreach tools to attract young people and minorities in science by designing interactive science apps, hosting podcast interviews and bringing together students and postdocs with children through a new blog.