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Structural engineering prompted by sustainability and resilience, as well as advances in other fields such as architecture, mechanics, computing and manufacturing, is evolving towards complex design solutions that often question our traditional design strategies. Structural morphology refers to the study of the relation between a structure, its function, form, material, and forces. In an analogy with biology, structural morphogenesis represents the processes that control the organized spatial distribution of material and modules in a structure. In Computer-Aided Structural Engineering (CASE) Lab, we focus on the structural morphology and morphogenesis of tomorrow's structures using a holistic and integrated framework of numerical and physical modeling. Our applications and interests span from marine and coastal structures to building and infrastructure systems to space structures. We also seek and support artistic and educational STEAM projects.

Landolf Rhode-Barbarigos, PhD

News / Highlights


RE:TV Short film on SEAHIVE

April 2024

RE:TV was founded in January 2020 by His Majesty King Charles III (then HRH The Prince of Wales) as part of the Sustainable Markets Initiative, and his long-standing commitment to environmental issues continues to inspire our work. It is a showcase for the inspiring innovations that are emerging all over the world in response to the climate and biodiversity crisis, and we are proud to have our SEAHIVE technology as part of those innovations. 



November 2023

Excited to be part of the twelve mid-career researchers from throughout the state of Florida that were selected to receive “Rising Stars” awards by the Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine of Florida (ASEMFL), a group that brings together the nation’s most distinguished and impactful scholars who live and work in Florida. ASEMFL is a not-for-profit organization of top scholars and researchers from universities, public agencies and industries statewide who study issues in science, engineering and medicine that impact the people of Florida and provide unbiased, expert advice related to these issues.



May 2023

Honored and excited to report that our research on tensegrity structures will now be funded by the NSF CAREER project: Static, Dynamic and Kinematic Analysis and Optimization of Tensegrity Structures through Cellular Morphogenesis. This Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award supports research that will focus on the generation, analysis and optimization of tensegrity structures. Inspired by tensegrity's artistic origin, the research will also be complemented by developing learning modules centered on objects at the intersection of art, science, and engineering, exploring object-based learning in collaboration with educational experts and students.

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May 2023

Excited to be part of the next TEDx Miami event - The Promise of Tomorrow. Committing to The Promise of Tomorrow the event focuses on the emerging growth of trends and the change makers forging the path. As we look into the future, the evening will be filled with philosophy from distinguished speakers as well as exclusive performances. The speaker and permorfers line up includes: Charles Renfro, Gina Chavez, Dr. Julie Radlauer-Doerfler, Karen Guggenheim, Leigh-Ann Buchanan, Ralph Echemendia and Romero Britto.

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March 2023

Our project, Engineering Coastal Resilience Through Hybrid Reef Restoration, or ECoREEF, which combines cement- and nature-based strategies to foster coastal resilience is now live! Supported by the University’s Laboratory for Integrative Knowledge (U-LINK) and the City of Miami Beach, the project includes the deployment of two 18-foot-long structures that aim to help restore damaged coral reefs and protect coastal environments. One of the hollow structures is shaped like a trapezoid, while the other one is based on SEAHIVE units.

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November 2022

Excited to be part of the inaugural Planetary Stewardship Event that will elevate transformative ideas on climate and establish Boston as a hub for driving powerful ideas toward global climate and sustainability solutions. The event is designed to spotlight actionable ideas for human activity to achieve a sustainable relationship with the planet’s natural systems. 100 talks from a broad range of experts will explore how research and scaling of technologies and practices can bring us closer toward planetary stewardship goals.



September 2022

Our proposal to the National Science Foundation (NSF) Coastlines and People Hubs for Research and Broadening Participation (CoPe) program was selected for funding. The project is led by a team of interdisciplinary  experts and will focus on three sites - Miami, Belize, and the U.S. Virgin Islands - using nature-based solutions such as coral reef and mangrove restoration in combination with engineering practices to mitigate sea level rise, storm surge, and flooding. 



June 2022

Our Reefense proposal named X-REEFS (Reef Engineering to Enhance Future Structures) to the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) was selected for funding. The Reefense program aims at the development of hybrid biological and engineered reef-mimicking structures to mitigate coastal flooding, erosion, and storm damages.



May 2022

Congratulations to Mohammad Ghiasian for his Ph.D. defense! Mohammad thesis entitled “Structural Morphogenesis of Green/Gray Coastal Infrastructure: Paradigms for Shoreline Protection” focused on the morphogenesis of efficient and ecofriendly  coastal structures, as well as the role of green infrastructure such as coral reefs on storm surge and waves. His research on the design of hybrid protective structures paves the way for more sustainable and resilient coastal communities.



May 2022

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) have awarded more than $7.6 million in grants to fund research that will improve the ability of buildings, infrastructure and communities to hold strong against natural hazards. We will be leading one of the projects focusing on the simultaneous wind, waves and storm surges have on coastal structures, as a well as being part of the team for a second one on the evaluation of glass-fiber-polymer-reinforced, ultra-high-performance concrete as a sea wall material alternative to conventional steel-reinforced concrete.



July 2021

Congratulations to Piermaria Caponi for his Ph.D. defense! Piermaria worked with us in the context of his thesis entitled “Forma ed equilibrio nell ’Architettura computazionale” at the University of Rome "La Sapienza" in the program of Engineering - Architecture and Urban Planning. His research focused on the dialectic form finding of structures, a topic at the intersection between architecture and engineering for which he received the highest grade! 



April 2021 

Tencylinder is a tensegrity structure that we are proud to report we worked on in collaboration with French artist Clément Vieille and Swiss architect Filippo Broggini from AEA (Applied Engineering Architecture). The structure is the centerpiece of the scenography by Hermès for watches & wonders 2021. Explore the links (click on the photo above and buttons below) to learn more about the structure including its assembly and erection.

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