Judges | Student Category

Judges | Student Category

Denise DeLuca - Denise DeLuca
Denise DeLuca

Denise DeLuca

Denise is a leading-edge thinker, educator, and practitioner in biomimicry, biomimetics, and business inspired by nature. She combines her grounding in engineering and passion for nature to catalyze radical innovation, co-creativity, and leadership inspired by nature. As co-founder of Vibrant OS, Denise empowers and equips leaders, and their teams, with practices inspired by nature that transform a team’s fundamental way of operating while addressing immediate business issues. She is also an adjunct faculty at Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) where she teaches two online courses, Creative Leadership and Biomimetic Design, as part of MCAD’s 100% online Master of Arts in Sustainable Design program. DeLuca has previously run a sustainable resource consulting business – Emergent Solutions, was Outreach Director for The Biomimicry Institute, and was Project Lead for Swedish Biomimetics 3000 where she is now a consulting SME. Denise is now located in Seattle, WA (USA).

Alessandro Bianciardi - Alessandro Bianciardi
Alessandro Bianciardi

Alessandro Bianciardi

Alessandro Bianciardi has a background in Environmental Engineering and 18 years of experience in formulation and implementation of environmental, energy and development projects acquired working for international organizations such as the European Commission and the UNDP, consulting companies and NGOs. He worked in several countries collaborating in multi-ethnical teams and getting acquainted with different cultures and habits. He certified in Education for Sustainability at Schumacher College (UK) and certified Biomimicry Professional at the Biomimicry 3.8 Institute.

Colin Webster - Colin Webster
Colin Webster

Colin Webster

Colin works with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a UK-based charity who aims to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. He works on a variety of roles within the education team, predominantly on curating content for the Disruptive Innovation Festival (DIF), supporting the development of the Schmidt-MacArthur Fellowship and creating educational resources in a variety of formats. Colin lives near Edinburgh in Scotland.

Torrey McMillan - Torrey McMillan
Torrey McMillan

Torrey McMillan

Torrey is an experienced and innovative educator, with over a decade of classroom teaching experience ranging from elementary to University level. Trained as a Biomimicry Specialist by Biomimicry 3.8, Torrey has been a biomimicry educator for 5 years. Also an expert in sustainability education, she works with schools to embed the principles and practices of sustainability into the curriculum, operations, and culture of the institution. Her wide-ranging background, including coursework in natural sciences, resource policy, institutional design, systems thinking, psychology and education allows her to see the world through an integrated lens. Torrey currently directs Great Lakes Biomimcry’s Educators’ Consortium and K12 education programs. In addition, she is the Director of the Center for Sustainability at Hathaway Brown School and adjunct faculty for the Baldwin Wallace University’s Sustainability major. Torrey has a BA in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University and a MS in Resource Policy and Human Behavior from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment. She is an accredited LEED GA (USGBC) and certified Biomimicry Specialist (Biomimicry 3.8 Professional Pathways).

Jacquelyn Nagel - Jacquelyn Nagel
Jacquelyn Nagel

Jacquelyn Nagel

Dr. Jacquelyn K. Nagel is an Assistant Professor of Engineering at James Madison University. Dr. Nagel has eight years of diversified engineering design experience, both in academia and industry, and has experienced engineering design in a range of contexts. She has been researching and teaching biomimicry in the context of engineering design since 2007 and has authored three book chapters and 22 publications on bio-inspired, engineering design. In 2012, she was recognized by the National eWeek Foundation and IEEE-USA as one of the New Faces of Engineering for her pioneering work in using biological systems as models for sensors, instrumentation and processes. Dr. Nagel earned her Ph.D. from Oregon State University, and her M.S. and B.S. from Missouri University of Science & Technology.

Jaco Appelman - Jaco Appelman
Jaco Appelman

Jaco Appelman

Jaco Appelman graduated in the Social Sciences at the Radboud University Nijmegen and did his PhD in Management Studies at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. He worked as an assistant professor at the faculty of Technology, Policy & Management at the Technological University Delft. Where he taught and conducted research on collaboration as part of complex implementation strategies, Sustainability approaches, Biomimicry and (micro-)gaming.

The last 3 years he increasingly developed himself as a ‘biomimick’, and he developed international courses on biomimicry and design and a biomimicry-masterclass at the TU-Delft. He is currently involved in the development of a 2-year bioinspired master at the Faculty of Sciences Utrecht University that will teach biomimicry as the main method for designing sustainable solutions.

Richard James MacCowan - Richard James MacCowan
Richard James MacCowan

Richard James MacCowan

Richard James MacCowan is the director and co-founder of Biomimicry UK, a collaborative social enterprise initiated to deal with challenges we are facing in the 21st century. Richard is an awarding-winning urbanist and urban design consultant. Currently, he is involved with lecturing commitments in a variety of design disciplines across the UK and is working to develop the European Biomimicry Alliance with similar organisations across the European Union. He is a Living Building Challenge ambassador and is part of the UK collaborative adapting it to the UK. Richard has worked on a variety of projects across the UK and Europe from housing schemes through to billion-dollar asset transfers. Richard is lead for the Alloa biomimetic project with The Ecological Sequestration Trust, a project supported by the Scottish Government.

Hilary Staples - Hilary Staples
Hilary Staples

Hilary Staples

Hilary been an educator for 20 years, both in the field and in the classroom. She believes in bringing relevance to education by working with the important topics of personal and environmental health, technology in education, brain research, and investigating connections through systems thinking. She is enthusiastic about exploring ways to bring science to life using both the natural world and the tools of technology. One of her favorite ways to integrate innovation with a reverence for nature is through Biomimicry. Hilary incorporates this idea into  classes and as a public speaker on the topic for schools, conferences and other community groups. She has spoken about Biomimicry to fellow educators at the California Academy of Sciences and to a Youth in Science Convention in Bangkok Thailand.

John Crockett - John Crockett
John Crockett

John Crockett


Dr. Crockett discharges multiple assignments on behalf of the San Diego State University Research Foundation, all of which center around the RF’s mission to promote university research and education. Dr. Crockett works to identify and develop new research opportunities for SDSU faculty. Through regular collaboration with state and federal agencies and elected officials, Dr. Crockett identifies ways in which SDSU can help fulfill priority missions on the state and national scale. In addition, Dr. Crockett assists early-stage energy technology companies in navigating the commercialization pathway through a variety of external and internal programs. Dr. Crockett coordinates follow-on funding with utilities, systems integrators, energy companies, and public and private funding agencies to identify commercialization partners and allies.

Dr. Crockett maintains an active role in education and research and is co-author on over 20 professional publications, including a recent book chapter on Facilitating Innovation within the university environment and understanding the challenges involved in assessing the commercialization potential of new technologies. Dr. Crockett received a Bachelor of Arts in Earth and Environmental Science from Wesleyan University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Marine Geology from the University of Washington. He lives in San Diego with his wife and two children.

Theresa Millard - Theresa Millard
Theresa Millard

Theresa Millard

Innovator and Strategist in the realm of sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Born and raised in the UK, Theresa joined Kohler Co. USA in 1988 where she worked in manufacturing and product development over the following years. In 2005, after encountering Biomimicry, she realized that she could no longer design “things” without thought to their unintended consequences. Recognizing the need for a wider frame of reference, Theresa and family moved to Spain in 2009 with the express purpose of turning life upside down. Founding member of Biomimicry Iberia and the European Biomimicry Alliance. Today, Theresa focuses on the evolution of business practice through inspired education, relationship building and collaboration and best practice sharing.

Dixie Hudson - Dixie Hudson
Dixie Hudson

Dixie Hudson

Dixie Hudson is a professor of Interior Design within the School of Construction and the Environment at the British Columbia Institute of Technology in Vancouver, Canada. The School of Construction and the Environment is focused on the built environment, the natural environment and the relationship between them. This relationship provides opportunities for Dixie and her students to work together with multiple other disciplines on projects using the campus as a living lab for sustainability.  Dixie graduated as a Biomimicry Specialist from Biomimicry 3.8 in 2011 and has taught Biomimicry to architectural, interior design, fish and wildlife and business and marketing students. Recently Dixie completed a Master of Science in Creative Studies where she wrote a paper, “The Overarching Connection between Biomimicry and Creativity”. Dixie will be presenting this at the World Ecocity Summit in Abu Dhabi in October 2015. Dixie will also be presenting,” Campuses as a Living Lab for Sustainability” at the World Ecocity Summit. Currently Dixie likes to play at the intersection of creativity and biomimicry.

Kelly Siman - Kelly Siman
Kelly Siman

Kelly Siman

Kelly Siman is currently earning her PhD at the University of Akron (UA) in Biomimicry within the Integrated Biosciences program. At UA, she is a Biomimicry education fellow where she works with K-12 teachers integrating Biomimicry principles within lessons and standards curriculum. Her research focuses on biomimetic solutions, systems thinking, and urban resilience for climate change adaptation and mitigation techniques. Prior to starting her PhD, Kelly earned her M.Sc. from the College of Natural Resources in Geography at Virginia Tech and her B.Sc. from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Aeronautics, including her pilot’s license. She has extensive international work experience, including as a Senior Researcher at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore where she assisted in a three-year meso-level comparative analysis of political risk and regulation within four environmental sectors in five Asian countries. While in Singapore, she also served as advisor to a leading Singaporean Ambassador-at-Large with global environmental issues. She then moved into the non-profit sector to take on the role of Managing Director of a private foundation in Hawaii that works on Pacific Island marine conservation and cultural heritage, starting up the North American office and helped run Pacific operations. She also has extensive experience at the South Pole Station, Antarctica, New Zealand, and China. She has also traveled to Bangladesh to volunteer and understand women and worker’s rights, particularly in clothing factories.

Gayle DeBruyn - Gayle DeBruyn
Gayle DeBruyn

Gayle DeBruyn

Gayle DeBruyn, IIDA, LEED‐AP is an Associate Professor of Design Studies at Kendall College of Art and Design, Chair of the Furniture and Collaborative Design programs, and is the Chief Sustainability Officer of the college. She is past president of the West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum, serves on the leadership teams of the Corporate Sustainability Partnership, the Grand Rapids UNU‐RCE, SiTE:LAB, TEDxGrandRapids and is an advisor to Design West Michigan.

DeBruyn is an owner of Lake Affect Design Studio in Grand Rapids Michigan. Services include commercial and residential interior design, educational/institutional design, and environmental stewardship. She holds a BA in Interior Design from Michigan State University, as well as a Masters of Management and certificate in Sustainable Business from Aquinas College.

Puja Batra - Puja Batra
Puja Batra

Puja Batra

Puja Batra, Ph.D. is an ecologist based in San Diego, California. She has worked in several countries across three continents with a work portfolio that cuts across some of the planet’s most urgent and interrelated issues: biodiversity loss, natural resource degradation, local economies, food security, and climate change. She became involved in biomimicry through a Biologist at the Design Table course in 2007, and has since incorporated it into her portfolio of problem solving tools and design thinking. Her current work as an independent consultant in sustainable development brings together science, markets, policy, and innovation to develop solutions that help stem the losses of natural capital.

Amy Leidtke - Amy Leidtke
Amy Leidtke

Amy Leidtke

Multidisciplinary design practitioner, artist and educator, Amy Leidtke is an engaged scholar with over twenty years of professional experience in research, participatory design, strategic and master planning, exhibit and product development and design, curriculum design, educational symposia, and public speaking. She is an accomplished industrial designer, artist, and educator with a record of success combining the disciplines of strategic and master planning, ideation and design development, participatory design workshops, and inclusive professional design practice. Leidtke has experience with making design accessible, developing educational symposia, institutes, roundtables, exhibits, activities, products, and workshops for people of all ages.

Nuna Teal - Nuna Teal
Nuna Teal

Nuna Teal, PhD

Nuna is the Executive Director of the Jena & Michael King Foundation. Nuna was raised on a large organic farm in Vermont that is now a permaculture research center, and also spent much of her youth among the Arctic's indigenous peoples, reindeer and muskoxen in relation to her father's work in animal husbandry. As is true of many farm kids, she escaped to do something (anything!) else, becoming an anthropologist and dancer before finally returning to take over the family farm. She is currently guiding the endeavors of a foundation dedicated to soil restoration and regenerative agriculture; the health and well-being of children and youth, animals, plants and the natural systems upon which all life depends; human and animal rights.

Peter Boyer - Peter Boyer
Peter Boyer

Peter Boyer

Peter Boyer is an artist in San Francisco California. His work has been exhibited widely in the United States and Japan and is included in numerous private and public collections. Peter also serves on a number of non-profit boards, including Rocky Mountain Institute, The National Advisory Board of The Union of Concerned Scientists, The Pacific Institute, and Caldera Foundation.

Luisa Schultz -
Luisa Schultz

Luisa Schultz

Luisa is a full time professor at the NewSchool of Architecture and Desgin and an international consultat addressing innovative sustainable design and planning technologies for companies located in the United States and abroad. She is passionate about nature and design, both at a small, individual scale and globally, at complex intersections. She likes to provoke collaborations driven by conscious and sustainable principles, infused by science and informed by data.