Associate Professor Brook Kennedy Publishes Research Article on Fog Harvesting Meshes
November 28, 2023
Associate Professor Brook Kennedy in Industrial Design recently published a research article, "Bio-Inspired Fog Harvesting Meshes: A Review" in the Wiley journal Advanced Functional Materials. This review presents a critical survey of fog harvesting materials which are the essential components of the practice of fog water harvesting.
When placed in the path of moving fog, droplets coalesce into drinkable water for human consumption, agriculture and reforestation. The article concludes with a call for design and computation to develop new bioinspired geometries and tools for producing intricate meshes using multi-head 3d printers and filament extruders.
This work culminated 5 years of research designing fog harvesting meshes at the millimetric water-droplet scale towards the goal of supporting some of the most vulnerable, water-stressed communities on earth. At present, billions face water scarcity globally, and fog harvesting has been identified as a promising solution, especially as climate change affects water supplies.
Using an observational, iterative process, Kennedy and collaborator Dr. Jonathan Boreyko have to date developed future-facing fog harvesting designs which have resulted in a combination of patents, publications and design awards. In 2022, some of these materials (fog harps) were tested in California and discussions are ongoing with the San Francisco Water Board to pilot these inventions in coastal applications.
Additional tests are planned in Lima, Peru and elsewhere. Advanced Functional Materials, based in Germany, is a widely read journal in material science and design across many disciplines. This work demonstrates a powerful example of design leading transdisciplinary research. The team has included a variety of partners in industrial design, material science, environmental, aerospace and mechanical engineering.
Connected to the article is an ongoing international collaboration with TUM's Center for Biotechnology and Sustainability- Professor Kennedy will go there as a Global Visiting Professor in January to work on Cottonid, a nearly 100% cellulose proto-plastic that was developed prior to fossil fuel- based thermoplastics.
Find the article here: Bio-Inspired Fog Harvesting Meshes: A Review