Science Pub Corvallis offers cool presentations in an informal atmosphere where you can interact with experts and where there are no silly questions. No scientific background is required – just bring your curiosity, sense of humor, and appetite for food, drinks and knowledge!
Held on the second Monday of the month, 6 to 8 p.m. in the Old World Deli, 341 2nd St. in Corvallis, Science Pub is sponsored by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, the Downtown Corvallis Association and Terra magazine at Oregon State University.
No RSVP is necessary. Tell your friends and join us on Facebook to stay informed about upcoming guests. We hope to see you there! Check out photos from the May 13, 2013 Science Pub. You can also see recorded Science Pub events online. And if you can’t join us in Corvallis, check out science pubs by OSU-Cascades in Bend and by OMSI in Portland, Hillsboro and Eugene.
March 13 — Soft Robots: Machines inspired by snakes, lizards and other squishy things
Speaker: Yiğit Mengüç, College of Engineering, Oregon State University
In the movies, the typical robot is as soft as a tin can. But, inspired by animals that slither, swim and crawl, engineers are designing new robotic systems as soft as skin and muscle.
“Incredible biological mechanisms have emerged through evolution and can provide a wellspring of inspiration for roboticists,” says Yiğit Mengüç, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Oregon State University. “One promising area emerging from biological inspiration is the design of devices and robots made of compliant materials, as part of a larger field of research in soft robotics.”
At the Corvallis Science Pub, Mengüç will present his research in soft active materials, bioinspired mechanisms and 3D printing. In his laboratory, called the mLab, he uses liquid metal alloys, biodegradable rubber, electroactive fluids and other materials that produce machines with the agility of geckos and the flexibility of snakes.
“Bioinspired mechanisms include soft muscles, adhesives and soft wearable sensors,” says Mengüç. “The mLab fabricates these materials and mechanisms through our own innovations in 3D printing and rapid digital manufacturing. Though significant challenges remain to be solved in soft materials, exciting developments promise to bring robots more and more into our daily lives.”
April 10 — Lift: The science and surprising history of leavening agents
Speaker: Sue Queisser, food scientist, bakery owner and engineer
Did you know that some of the earliest leavening agents were derived from antlers, ashes or even urine? Ever wonder what exactly is the difference between baking soda and powder and how much to use? Have you been disappointed to follow a recipe exactly only to have your cake collapse? What is yeast exactly and how does it work together with flour and water to make that glorious thing riddled with holes called bread? Why does your soufflé collapse before coming out of the oven?
Come find out not only how all the various products we use to bring our culinary wonders to lofty heights function but also the interesting stories behind their origins. You’ll learn lots of useful troubleshooting tips along the way, too, that will help you achieve optimal results in the kitchen.
Sue Queisser manages the Center for Sensory and Consumer Behavior Research at Oregon State University and owns Melarova Baking in Corvallis. At 18 she headed off to art school and got a degree in printmaking with a minor in Italian (drawing on limestone is very unmarketable, by the way) and quickly headed back to school to get a degree in mechanical engineering at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She worked as a process engineer at Hewlett-Packard and loved it — figuring out the best way to make anything is an obsession of hers. After a stint as a stay-at-home mom, she got a food science degree at Oregon State so she could do process with food – her true passion. She worked at several Willamette Valley food companies before starting her own business. Now she is very happy to be back at OSU in the Department of Food Science and Technology running consumer taste test panels.