Prize Recipient

Daniel Quinn

Daniel B. Quinn
Standford University


"For fundamental new insights into the hydrodynamics of fish, and for opening up new strategies for underwater propulsion."


Daniel B. Quinn, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the mechanical and aerospace engineering department at the University of Virginia (Charlottesville). His research focuses on bio-inspired engineering, primarily bio-inspired vehicles, flexible energy harvesters, and optimized fluidic systems. As an undergraduate at the University of Virginia, Dr. Quinn was a Rodman Scholar and received the School of Engineering and Applied Science Outstanding Student Award when he graduated in 2010. He then went on to be a Francis Upton Fellow at Princeton University (N.J.), where he received a Ph.D. in mechanical and aerospace engineering and won the Emerging Alumni Scholars Award in 2015. His thesis work, advised by Alexander J. Smits, Ph.D., proposed scaling laws for flexibility and ground proximity in bio-inspired underwater propulsion. Most recently, Dr. Quinn has been studying the locomotion strategies of fishes and birds as a visiting fellow at Harvard University (Cambridge Mass.) and a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University (Palo Alto, Calif.). Dan is also an active member of the online science education community; his YouTube videos explaining fluid dynamics won him the Khan Academy Talent Search in 2015 and have been featured on TedEd and National Public Radio.

Selection Committee:

2016 Selection Committee Members: Ching-Long Lin (Chair), Antonino Ferrante, Dennice Gayme, Eva Kanso, John Dabiri, Robert Martinuzzi, Satish Kumar