Why are Stanford, Princeton, and CalTech fighting over this man? by Granvel Johnson

“The first time John Dabiri told the U.S. Navy that he could create more efficient underwater vehicles using jellyfish, they laughed. Until a year later, when he had $1.3 million in the bank to do exactly that.

John Dabiri“It turns out that understanding these little floating blobs is more complex than it seems. Complex enough for the most talented scientists in the world. By studying how jellyfish propel themselves and building real-life models from algorithms of their movement, Dabiri has learned some rather interesting stuff, like how to detect heart failure years in advance and how to build unmanned submarines that, according to the Navy, are 30 percent more efficient.

“What he does has a poetic name: bio-inspired engineering; in this case, using the physics of swimming animals to solve big human problems. Jellyfish have survived for over 500 million years and lived through mass extinctions, Dabiri says, so they must be doing something right.”
"Popular Science magazine named him one of its "Brilliant 10" scientists in 2008. For his research in bio-inspired wind energy, Bloomberg Businessweek magazine listed him among its Technology Innovators in 2012, and MIT Technology Review magazine named him one of its 35 innovators under 35 in 2013. In 2014, he was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society."

The only university he applied to as a high school senior was Princeton. No one was surprised when he was accepted and subsequently graduated Summa Cum Laude

He currently serves as Professor of Aeronautics and Bioengineering and Dean of Undergraduate Students at CalTech. In addition to that he is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford. Stanford University also built a lab for him and named it after him.

For more information on Dr. John Dabiri, visit: 



Granvel Johnson received a Bachelor of Arts in Ministry and Leadership from Vanguard University and a master's degree from Duke Divinity. Granvel is the author of Think on These Things: Meditations for Spiritual Living, and the critically acclaimed Notes to our Sons: for the Journey from Childhood to Manhood, which is a unique series of workbooks designed to guide and encourage young men as they grow into positive, productive, and responsible men.


Last modified onThursday, 10 March 2016 14:19
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