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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: GR/T05875/01
Title: 3D-Mapping of Macrotermes Michaelseni Mounds and Simulation of their Homeostatic Functions: Lessons for Human Construction?
Principal Investigator: Soar, Dr RC
Other Investigators:
Versteeg, Mr H Loveday, Professor D Malalasekera, Professor W
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Dr J Darlington
Project Partners:
State Universities of New York (Grouped) University of Cambridge
Department: Sch of Mechanical and Manufacturing Eng
Organisation: Loughborough University
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 September 2004 Ends: 31 May 2008 Value (£): 421,050
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Construction Ops & Management Population Ecology
Structural Engineering
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Construction
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The research seeks to understand how structure and function are integrated and embodied in the complex architecture of the mounds of Macrotermes michaelseni. The work is intended to answer three broad questions that will serve as both. the foundation for future basic research, and as inspiration for more tangible and immediate innovations in architecture, structural and environmental engineering. These questions are: What are the detailed architectures that underlie physiological function in termite mounds? How do termite mounds integrate and coordinate multiple sources of energy to perform the overarching function of colony ventilation? To what extent can the knowledge gained, about these phenomena, be applied to human construction and hence inform future architectural and engineering construction practice?These questions will be answered through a series of experiments designed to capture the true mound geometry of a number of M. michealseni mounds in Central Africa. An apparatus will be constructed, over each around, to allow the sequential slicing and digital scannning of the entire mound. The slices will then be reassembled to produce a 3D model of the mound structure. The captured geometry will then be used to develop and demonstrate a simulation model to describe the thenno-regulatory and respiratory gas exchange equilibrium found within the mound to show the process of homeostasis in a static structure.
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Organisation Website: http://www.lboro.ac.uk