Biomimicry certificate for undergraduate students launches at University of Akron


The University of Akron, building on the success of its world-renowned doctoral training program in biomimicry, is launching a new Undergraduate Certificate in Biomimicry – the first of its kind in Ohio – this fall.

The 15-credit interdisciplinary program, open to undergraduate students of any major, is designed to provide basic training and experience in the rapidly growing field of biomimicry – the process of learning from the natural world to solve human challenges.

By emulating biological forms, processes, patterns and systems, biomimicry experts have made critical advances in fields ranging from architecture and design to biomedicine, engineering, nanotechnology, transportation, robotics and renewable energy.

Students in the program will work with peers and faculty members from various departments – including art, biology, business, engineering and polymers – to complete practical design challenges and develop communication and problem-solving skills prized by employers from many industries.

“These are cross-disciplinary classes that encourage flexible thinking, immersive learning, real-world challenges, abstract concepts, problem solving and learning from the natural world,” explains Dr. Peter Niewiarowski, principal investigator of UA’s Biomimicry Research and Innovation Center (BRIC) and a professor of biology. 

The certificate was developed and is supported by BRIC, which was founded at UA in 2015, and represents an extension of its Biomimicry Fellowship Program, a robust graduate training platform within the Integrated Bioscience Ph.D. Program. Approximately 20 Biomimicry Fellows are supported through BRIC in partnership with Great Lakes Biomimicry by corporate sponsors such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, The J.M. Smucker Company and others.

The University is an internationally recognized leader in biomimicry, with more than 30 faculty members from four colleges belonging to BRIC. Their interdisciplinary projects draw inspiration from organisms as diverse as ants, bacteria, birds, cacti, fish, flies, geckos, snakes and spiders to inform the research and development of adhesives, color-producing additives, building construction techniques and more.

For more information about the Undergraduate Certificate in Biomimicry, or about BRIC, contact Niewiarowski at or 330-972-7311.

Media contact: Cristine Boyd, 330-972-6476 or cboyd