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Please join the Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology (SPCEET) and the Department of Mechanical Engineering for our Spring 2022 Seminar Series with Dr. David Hu from Georgia Tech! Light refreshments will be provided.


Ant Rafts, Cubic Poop, and the Ig Nobel Prize by Dr. David Hu, Professor at Georgia Tech

Our built world of furniture and buildings mainly consists of solid unchanging materials.  In contrast, nature uses living materials to construct unique shapes with properties of both fluids and solids.  We begin with fire ants from the wetlands of Brazil.  They link their bodies together to form waterproof rafts that can flow or solidify in response to the fluid forces around them.  Then we head to Australia, the home of the wombat, a marsupial that has evolved stiff bands in its intestines that it uses to sculpt cube-shaped feces.  The audience will learn how to turn chance observations into quantitative measurements and worldwide engagement with science.
Short Bio:

Dr. David Hu is a mechanical engineer who studies the interactions of animals with water.  He has discovered how dogs shake dry, how insects walk on water, and how eyelashes protect the eyes from drying.  Originally from Rockville, Maryland, he earned degrees in mathematics and mechanical engineering from M.I.T. and is now Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Biology and Adjunct Professor of Physics at Georgia Tech.  He serves on the editorial boards for Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Scientific Reports, and Journal of Experimental Biology. 
His research has been featured in The Economist, The New York Times, Saturday Night Live, and Highlights for Children. He is a recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER award for young scientists, the Ig Nobel Prize in Physics (twice), and the Pineapple Science Prize (the Ig Nobel of China).  He is the author of the book "How to walk on water and climb up walls," which earned the American Institute of Physics Science Communication Award and was a finalist for the AAAS/Subaru Prize for Excellence in Young Adult Science Books.  He lives with his wife and two children in Atlanta, Georgia.   



About the Series:
The Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology (SPCEET) Seminar Series is designed to encourage the exchange of ideas within and across the college’s disciplines through research. We invite speakers from top research institutions and within SPCEET to give presentations on their ongoing and most recently completed research projects each semester.


The Seminar Series provides faculty, staff, and students an excellent opportunity to directly interact with leaders in their research areas, get valuable feedback on their ongoing work from peers, and create possibilities for high-impact collaboration.

  • Justin Roth
  • Ann Chester Leardine
  • Coskun Tekes

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