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David Lentink receives the Steven Vogel Young Investigator Award

The ‘Drones of a Feather’ pioneer is recognized for early career brilliance.
David Lentink holds an example of the models his students are making to simulate birds in flight. | Photo by L.A. Cicero
David Lentink, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, received the inaugural Steven Vogel Young Investigator Award for his work in biological flight research and engineering design. The award, named for the late Steven Vogel, a leading researcher in comparative biomechanics who enjoyed seeing biological research insights applied to design, recognizes early career brilliance in the sciences.
Lentink’s Bio-Inspired Research & Design (BIRD) lab explores the intersection of biomechanics, fluid mechanics and robotics, studying all aspects of bird flight to develop better flying robots. His research fosters a multidisciplinary approach to robotic advancement by applying biology, engineering and design to imagine new technologies that can withstand real-world environmental conditions. In addition to birds, Lentink has studied other organisms, including bats, insects, maple seeds and fish. He was honored at the annual meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) in San Francisco earlier this month.
Bioinspiration and Biomimetics, a leading peer-reviewed journal, launched the Steven Vogel Young Investigator Award in 2017 and is now accepting nominees for the 2018 award cycle.