BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 24, 2012 – The Office of the Vice President for Research recognizes Jake Socha, assistant professor of engineering science and mechanics, for his work to understand the biomechanics of gliding in flying snakes.
Socha also leads a multi-disciplinary effort that aims to understand how insects pump fluids through their bodies and to use these principles for novel engineering designs. Through this project, he is directing a summer program that directly integrates high school teachers, undergraduates, and high school students into the research team's efforts.
Socha is an organismal biomechanist studying the relationship between form and function in animals, with a broad range of projects involving locomotion, breathing and feeding. His current work focuses on gliding flight in snakes, mechanics of convection in compressible tracheal structures in insects, and dynamics of pumping in liquid feeders such as butterflies and ants. Other interests include 3D morphology using microtomography and synchrotron imaging of small animals.