Nature@Noon: Cholla Cactus – The Champions of Torque
This event last occurred Sept. 15, 2021
A Zoom presentation by Dr. Luca De Vivo
Staghorn chollas are champions of desert survival. These cactuses endure cycles of boom-and-bust rainfall and temperatures that soar to 120 F or drop below freezing. But as structural engineer Luca De Vivo has discovered, their woody skeletons also possess exceptional strength, particularly when it comes to withstanding heavy winds. Turns out, staghorn chollas are the champions of torsional loads (a twisting action also known as torque). Join De Vivo to learn more about the secrets of one of nature’s strongest structures and how these insights could lead to better prosthetic designs for people in low-income countries around the world.
Dr. Luca De Vivo is a postdoctoral researcher in the Jacobs School of Engineering, University of California, San Diego. His work focuses on the use of innovative imaging, design and manufacturing methods to achieve lighter, more efficient and resilient structures. He has published his research on the structure of cholla cactuses in such journals as Acta Biomaterialia and Research and Development of Material Science. De Vivo also is founder of Limber Prosthetics & Orthotics Inc., a San Diego-based company focused on creating affordable, well-fitting prostheses for amputees in low-income countries.
Nature@Noon is a series of workshops that explores the collection of ASU’s new NatureMaker library and its potential to inspire sustainable innovation. NatureMaker is a collaboration between the Biomimicry Center and the ASU Library.