November 22, 2016
by Zack Mortice
Photo Courtesy: Baumgartner + Uriu Architecture
The most important convergence of design and biological sciences today relies on “innovation” that’s millions, if not billions, of years old.
is the imitation of the models, systems, and elements of nature for the purpose of solving complex human problems; biomimicry in architecture and manufacturing is the practice of designing buildings and products that simulate or co-opt processes that occur in nature. There are ultrastrong synthetic spider silks
modeled after gecko feet, and wind-turbine blades that mimic whale fins
“The way biological systems solve problems is pretty different from the way engineered systems solve problems,” says Peter Niewiarowski, biologist at the University of Akron and its Biomimicry Research and Innovation Center.
Human-designed solutions, he says, are crude and additive. They rely on using more materials or energy to accelerate reactions—both costly expenditures. Natural processes rely on unique geometry and material properties… Read more at Redshift
July 29, 2011
Joseph Schaffer, PE, Green Environmental Associates
, Metuchen, NJ
What did your life look like before you started Green Environmental Associates?
Prior to deciding to work for myself, I was doing site civil engineering for commercial developers, projects like big box retail and mega subdivisions. My work has always revolved around design and engineering in land development. This type of work requires the ability to balance hardcore science and site specific conditions in the field with fuzzier disciplines, like urban planning theory, construction tolerance, and environmental concerns.
Describe your “Eureka!” moment that shaped your decision to start your own company.
To make a real impact, I believe that a professional must really understand the existing approach to development and work to change that approach from the inside the system. However, that desire for change must be integrated into the mission of the company. I met my business partners while working on a corporate advisory board and we found that common ground. So we started Green Environmental Associates to reflect a mission of bringing change from the inside. We’re not just consultants, but partners in shaping our client’s future.