When Dr. Todd Griffith
sees palm trees swaying in the wind, he doesn’t think it’s time to kick back with a piña colada. The associate professor of mechanical engineering
at The University of Texas at Dallas instead thinks about efficiency.
“I’m thinking how efficient it is when powerful winds blow. The fronds are flexible; they fold up in hurricane-force winds for protection. When they unfold, they’re fine. I wonder if I can use that in a wind turbine,” he said.