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Connect with V.I.N.E.

NASA engages in the exchange of information to better understand the state of biomimicry — knowledge, understanding, and applications. If you are interested in exchanging ideas and information about nature-inspired technologies, please visit one of the links below.

Find a Subject Matter Expert

Here is a list of biomimicry-friendly Subject Matter Experts at NASA Glenn Research Center.  If you are interested in contacting any of these SMEs, please email

Expertise Name
Thermal seals for aerospace applications Jeff Demange and Pat Dunlap
Scientific computing and visualization Calvin Robinson and Herb Schilling
Creativity and Innovation Tools Anita Alexander
Icing, anti-icing, ice-phobic research Eric Kreeger
Acoustics Danielle Koch
Nature-inspired design and tools, Propulsion, seal whiskers and airfoils, mycelium Vik Shyam

Find a Nature-Inspired Cluster

Are you interested in connecting with like-minded individuals?

V.I.N.E. has established a network of research clusters (working groups) to explore nature-inspired technology. See the areas of interest below.  If you would like to learn more about these clusters or connect with any of the catalysts listed, email  Please specify the name of the cluster in the Subject line of your email.

Cluster Catalyst
Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Sensors, Robotics Herb Schilling
Synthetic Biology, Artificial Evolution and Human Persistence in Space Christopher Maurer
Multi-functional Materials, Structures, Processing Tiffany Williams
Christopher Maurer
Education Marjan Eggermont
Systemology and Systems Engineering (SE) Jacquelyn Nagel

Catalyst Bios

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML)

Dr. Herb Schilling NASA Glenn Research Center

Dr. Herb Schilling is a computer scientist at the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. Schilling leads a team in scientific applications and visualization and performs scientific software development on projects for researchers and engineers. He leads the Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning biomimicry cluster. For more than 25 years, Schilling has participated in a variety of outreach events in schools, local youth clubs, and other organizations throughout the community. These include activity booths and presentations, which allows students, parents, and other community members to experience exciting hands-on activities and an opportunity to meet a real NASA scientist. Schilling received his Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics from Case Western Reserve University. Over the years, Schilling has received the Exceptional Service Medal Award, the Wings of Excellence Award, and the OHTec Tech Team of the Year award.


Dr. Marjan Eggermont
Dr. Marjan Eggermont
University of Calgary

Dr. Marjan Eggermont is a Teaching Professor and faculty member at the University of Calgary in the Mechanical and Manufacturing department of the Schulich School of Engineering, University of Calgary. She co-founded and designs ZQ, an online journal to provide a platform to showcase the nexus of science and design using case studies, news, and articles.

Energy and Photonics

Dr. Lyndsey McMillon-Brown Image
Dr. Lyndsey McMillon-Brown
NASA Glenn Research Center

Dr. Lyndsey McMillon-Brown is a researcher at NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. Lyndsey earned her B.S in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering from Miami University (2013), she then completed her M.S and Ph.D in Chemical Engineering at Yale University (2019). Her dissertation work focused on developing novel materials and patterns for advanced light trapping in solar cells.

Dr. McMillon-Brown has been with NASA since 2011, where she has worked on a variety of space solar cell-related programs including thin film and organic cell development and durability studies. She is a 2015 recipient of the Miami Alumni Association’s 18 of the last 9 award recognizing outstanding young alumni. Lyndsey is currently the Principle Investigator on a $2M research effort to develop a method to print perovskite solar cells in space.

Outside of the lab, Lyndsey is dedicated to increasing opportunities for underrepresented individuals in STEM fields. As an alumna she serves on the Miami University’s Women’s Advisory Committee to the Dean of the College of Engineering and Computing, she is a NASA NextGen Ambassador, and the co-founder of various diversity and inclusion efforts at both Yale and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ (IEEE) professional society.

Dr. Timothy Peshek
Dr. Timothy Peshek
NASA Glenn Research Center

Dr. Tim Peshek joined NASA in January 2017 in the Photovoltaics and Electrochemical Systems Branch after working in the area of photovoltaics research and development for nearly 10 years. Prior to joining NASA, Dr. Peshek was Research Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Case Western Reserve University using big data analytics to study solar cell degradation processes.

Dr. Peshek’s previous experiences included a technical lead position for a startup company developing power electronics for solar arrays and research into the utility of thin-film solar absorbers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Arizona State University. Dr. Peshek is the author of over 30 articles and was 1 of 10 global recipients of a Google Little Box Challenge research award.

Multifunctional Materials, Structures, Processes

Dr. Tiffany Williams
Dr. Tiffany Williams
NASA Glenn Research Center

Dr. Tiffany Williams is a Research Chemical Engineer in the Materials Chemistry and Physics Branch in the Materials and Structures Division. She joined the NASA Glenn Research Center in 2010, where she has worked as a Materials Scientist on a variety of projects related to the development, design, and process optimization of lightweight nanocomposites, textiles, morphing aircraft structures, polymer matrix composites, multi-functional materials, and electrically insulating materials for high voltage applications. Her current research interests include developing multi-functional materials and advancing research efforts in biomimicry to develop nature-inspired materials and processes for deep-space missions and more efficient aircraft.

Williams has served as NASA Glenn’s Materials Development Technical Lead for the Game Changing Development Program’s Structural Nanomaterials project (in collaboration with NASA LaRC and MSFC), where the focus was on developing high strength, lightweight nanocomposite overwrap materials for composite overwrap pressure vessel applications. She co-leads the Multifunctional Materials and Structures biomimicry cluster and serves as Technical Chair for Summit 2017: Nature-Inspired Exploration for Aerospace.

Dr. Williams was a recipient of the Women of Color in STEM “Rising Technology All-Star” Award. She received both a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Tuskegee University. She also received a Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Cincinnati.

Chris Maurer
Chris Maurer
redhouse studio

Chris Maurer is an architect and adjunct professor of architecture at Kent State University. Chris has lived and worked as an architect in New York City, Anchorage, Firenze, Kigali, and Lilongwe. In New York Chris was project architect for many fine art galleries, high-end residences, and award winning affordable and low-income housing projects at studioMDA.

In Africa, Chris served as director for studioMDA and MASS Design Group and designed and built many humanitarian projects for such clients as Madonna, Partners in Health, the UN Millennium Village Project, the Clinton Global Initiative, Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation, and Noella Coursaris. Chris now manages a design office in Cleveland providing design, project management, and construction management for residential and commercial projects and is continuing his work in the developing world with non-profits and in academia.

Systemology and Systems Engineering (SE)

Dr. Jacquelyn Nagel
Dr. Jacquelyn Nagel
 James Madison University

Dr. Jacquelyn Nagel is internationally known for her BID process and pedagogy research and has given invited talks/webinars/lectures to SWE, INCOSE, NASA, and at universities in Canada, France, and USA. She also serves as a catalyst for the NASA VINE Systemology Cluster.

Dr. Nagel’s research and leadership achievements were recognized when chosen by IEEE-USA for the New Faces of Engineering in 2012, and the Society of Women Engineers for the Distinguished New Engineer Award in 2016.

Curt McNamara
Curt McNamara

Curt McNamara is a systems and bio-inspired educator who worked in design and systems engineering for many decades. He is a Biomimicry Education Fellow, received the IEEE Millennium medal for his work in education, and coordinates the Natural Systems Working Group of INCOSE.

He teaches sustainable design at MCAD, and his publications include pieces in Zygote Quarterly, chapters on sustainable design, and a chapter on teamwork in engineering.

In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU)

Dr. Andrew Trunek
Dr. Andrew Trunek
NASA Glenn Research Center

Andrew Trunek is a research physicist at NASA Glenn Research Center with a growing interest in biomimicry and bio-inspired approaches to problem resolution, particularly for in-situ resource utilization, high-temperature harsh environment ceramic matrix composites, and silicon carbide crystal growth for harsh environment electronics.

Specific topics of interest include silicon carbide fiber-reinforced ceramic matrix composites (CMCs), SiC fiber characterization, electric aircraft high voltage power distribution, silicon carbide crystal growth, biomimetic approaches to in-situ resource utilization, and Urban Air Mobility concepts.

Find Research Areas and Opportunities

These opportunities are posted by researchers in biomimicry and are not endorsed by NASA in any way. Please contact the researcher directly if you are interested in their work.

Animal Locomotion/Biorobotics

Post a Research Area/Opportunity

Research Posting Form

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Technology Transfer Office

You can also contact NASA to discuss licensing technologies and explore partnership opportunities in other areas. Find more information at the Technology Transfer Office at Glenn Research Center.

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