• October 10, 2016, 4:00 p.m.
  • Professor Scott Kelly , Ph.D.
  • University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • 117A Surge Building
  • Faculty Host:  Cornel Sultan

Locomotion in nature generally hinges on the exploitation or breaking of symmetry in a sense that can be made precise using the language of differential geometry. This talk will describe simple mathematical models for a variety of biologically inspired robotic systems that achieve self-propulsion through cyclic changes in shape, highlighting the role played by symmetry or symmetry-breaking as an enabling factor in each case. Particular attention will be given to nonlinear phenomena arising in aquatic locomotion, including localized propulsive vortex shedding, dissipation-induced recovery in the presence of viscous drag, and wake energy harvesting within arrays of hydrodynamically coupled swimmers, and links will be discussed between problems in aquatic locomotion and problems in nonholonomic mechanics.

Scott David Kelly earned a BS in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering from Cornell University and an MS and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology. He worked as a research engineer in Biological Systems Modeling at Entelos, Inc. and as a faculty member in Mechanical Science & Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, receiving a National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2005 and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in 2006, before joining the department of Mechanical Engineering & Engineering Science at UNC Charlotte in 2007. Professor Kelly's research interests include analytical mechanics, nonlinear dynamics and control, differential geometry, robotics, and systems biology.