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Michael Dicker

PhD Student

My research is concerned with the integration of the functions of sensing and control within structures composed of self-actuating composites. The aim of doing so is to create new classes of sentient structure which can intelligently change their orientation or configuration in response to their environment. Such devices would mimic the distributed sensing and solid state actuation so often seen in nature, resulting in robust, highly reliable multifunctional structures.

The initial focus of my work is on the development self-actuating structures from chemically activated hydrogel composites, and the exploration of controlling such structures with sensing and control inputs generated by chemical reactions.

In the future such devices could find application in solar power generation, efficient aerospace structures and soft robotics.

Originally from Wollongong Australia where I obtained a BE (mechanical) in November 2011, I moved to Bristol in October 2012 to join the ACCIS DTC programme.

My supervisors are Ian Bond, Paul Weaver and Jonathan Rossiter

Related articles

Related publications

Biomimetic photo-actuation: sensing, control and actuation in sun-tracking plants

M P M Dicker, J M Rossiter, I P Bond, and P M Weaver. Jun 2014 In : Bioinspiration and Biomimetics. 9, 036015

Hydrogel core flexible matrix composite (H-FMC) actuators: theory and preliminary modeling

M P M Dicker, P M Weaver, J M Rossiter, and I P Bond. Aug 2014 In : Smart Materials and Structures. 23, 095021