Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Natural Flow

PostedDecember 18, 2016

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Anchor Lede: If you’re replenishing a lot of Christmas tree water, you can thank the efficiency of flow from the trunk to its needles. Studying such natural flows can help engineers design things.

Randy Atkins: The world is in constant motion and Adrian Bejan, a Duke University engineer, says nature’s tendency is toward patterns that flow easily...from rivers to animal migration patterns to eye movements.

Adrian Bejan: The image that can be scanned the fastest by the two human eyes is a rectangle shaped such that the horizontal dimension is 50% longer than the vertical dimension.

Randy Atkins: This so-called “Golden Ratio” is, in fact, found throughout nature and used, perhaps sometimes unknowingly, in engineered creations like TV screens. Bejan says we need to think about such natural principles more.

Adrian Bejan: It will make the design of all human movement, from airports to the entire air traffic system, faster and easier to imagine.

Randy Atkins: With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.