Suwi Li
Clemson University
2:00PM, Wednesday, March 2, 2022
310 Kelly Hall

Dynamics under the fold ─ Using the origami principle to architect meta-structures, soft robots, and intelligence

Since its creation, origami has undergone explosive evolutions in its beauty and complexity, and it is now a popular subject of study among artists, mathematicians, educators, and engineers.  The seemingly infinite possibilities of developing 3D geometries via folding have inspired many deployable structures and devices, shaping our modern life.  However, origami’s potential extends beyond geometry, and there has been a paradigm shift from just using the kinematics of folding to harnessing its mechanics and dynamics.  This talk will highlight our current efforts to accelerate this shift, focusing on origami dynamics and vibration.  It will showcase how to exploit folding to generate unique and nonlinear behaviors ― such as topology transformation, multi-stability, and high-dimensional complex dynamics ― to architect meta-structures with tunable wave propagation, control soft robots without electronics, and create intelligence in the mechanical domain.  This talk will also discuss the current challenges and future direction of origami research, as well as our long-term vision to create a family of “dynamic matter” with programmable properties and physical intelligence.

Suyi Li is currently an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Clemson University.  He received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 2014.  After spending two additional years at Michigan as a postdoctoral research fellow, he moved to Clemson in 2016 and established a research program on Origami-inspired meta-structures and robotics.  Dr. Li has secured close to two million dollars of research funding, including the prestigious NSF CAREER award.  He is also the recipient of the ASME Freudenstein Young Investigator Award, ASME Gary Anderson Early Career Award, and CECAS Junior Researcher of the Year Award from Clemson.  His research has generated 70 journal and conference publications.

Host: Professor Saied Taheri