Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Horstemeyer, Mark

Committee Member

Rhee, Hongjoo

Committee Member

Williams, Lakiesha

Committee Member

Hammi, Youssef

Committee Member

Allison, Paul

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Mechanical Engineering

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Mechanical Engineering


The proposed research investigates the unique structure of the rostrum of the paddlefish (Polyodon spathula) for use in bio-inspiration. The rostrum comprises three different materials: midline cartilage, a network cartilage structure, and matrix tissue. The structure-property relationships of these materials were studied with various mechanical testing and imaging techniques. The mechanical properties and stress-strain behavior were applied to a material model that characterizes each material. A three-dimensional model was constructed from computed tomography images, and a mesh was exported for use in finite element simulations. Different boundary conditions were applied to show how the rostrum responds under deformation giving a stress distribution arising from different loadings. Finally, a new robust design paradigm is introduced with bio-inspiration introducing constraints and is explained through using the paddlefish rostrum as an example of a cell tower or antenna.