International Bionic Award 2012

  • Author: ChemViews
  • Published Date: 29 October 2012
  • Source / Publisher: Verein Deutscher Ingenieure (VDI, Association of German Engineers)
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
thumbnail image: International Bionic Award 2012

The International Bionic Award 2012 has been awarded to the team behind the development of Flectofin®. The team consists of six members who have worked on several projects together. They are:

  • Julian Lienhard, Ph.D. candidate in structural engineering,
    Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design (ITKE), University of Stuttgart, Germany
  • Simon Schleicher, Ph.D candidate in architecture,
    Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design (ITKE), University of Stuttgart, Germany,
  • Simon Poppinga, Ph.D. candidate in biology,
    Plant Biomechanics Group (PBG), Albert-Ludwigs University of Freiburg, Germany
  • Tom Masselter, postdoctoral researcher in biology,
    Plant Biomechanics Group (PBG), Albert-Ludwigs University of Freiburg, Germany
  • Lena Müller, processing technician in textiles,
    Institute of Textile Technology and Process Engineering ITV Denkendorf, Germany
  • Julian Sartori, processing technician in textiles,
    Institute of Textile Technology and Process Engineering ITV Denkendorf, Germany


The award is presented jointly by the VDI (Association of German Engineers) for outstanding scientific achievement in the field of biomimetic/bionic product development. It is endowed with €10,000 from the Schauenburg Foundation and is presented biannually to a young researcher or a team of young researchers.

The award ceremony took place during the 6th Bionic Congress 'Patents from Nature', 26–27 October, 2012, Hochschule Bremen, Germany.


Flectofin® is a biologically inspired, hinge-less flapping mechanism based on the Strelitzia flower (pictured), which opens its petals when a bird lands upon it. The team developed an abstracted model of the Strelitzia flower. The model revealed a coupled deformation that forms the basis of the flapping mechanism. In contrast to common kinetic structures which work on the basis of locally arranged hinged, jointed and angular connections, this biomimetic approach works on the basis of pliability in large surfaces. This enables a wide range of adaptation and the wear of material at joints and hinges to be avoided.


Article Views: 3658

Sign in Area

Please sign in below

Additional Sign In options

Please note that to comment on an article you must be registered and logged in.
Registration is for free, you may already be registered to receive, e.g., the newsletter. When you register on this website, please ensure you view our terms and conditions. All comments are subject to moderation.

Article Comments - To add a comment please sign in

If you would like to reuse any content, in print or online, from ChemistryViews.org, please contact us first for permission and consult our permission guidance prior to making your request

Follow on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on YouTube Follow on LinkedIn Follow on Instagram RSS Sign up for newsletters

Magazine of Chemistry Europe (16 European Chemical Societies) published by Wiley-VCH