Having pioneered contributions to modern thermodynamics; developed constructal law; won dozens of awards, honors and distinctions; and educated countless engineers as the J. A. Jones Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Duke University, Dr. Adrian Bejan came to the realization about 10 years ago that he was “preaching to the choir” when it came to writing for academia. Hoping to reach a new, and ultimately larger audience, in 2012, he turned his attention to the trade market with the publication of Design in Nature: How the Constructal Law Governs Evolution in Biology, Physics, Technology, and Social Organizations. Four years later, he authored his second book for a consumer readership: The Physics of Life: The Evolution of Everything. And, while speaking at Villanova University on January 17, 2020, Bejan announced the release of his latest work: Freedom and Evolution: Hierarchy in Nature, Society and Science.
Describing it as the third book in his trilogy of titles for a wide audience of all ages (including what he calls “young, unbiased readers”), Freedom and Evolution shows how many “design change” concepts acquire a solid scientific footing and how they exist with the evolution of nature, society, technology and science. Delivering a lecture hosted by Villanova’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, Bejan outlined the role played by freedom and evolution in physics (thermodynamics), noting that, “given freedom, all movement exhibits the tendency to evolve into configurations that provide greater access.” Simply put, the physics of evolution is not only useful, but also necessary to progress, allowing humankind to self-correct. Perhaps most importantly, he states: “Without freedom, there is no change, no evolution. There is nothing.”
Dr. Bejan was hosted at Villanova University by Dr. Sylvie Lorente, College of Engineering Chair in Mechanical Engineering. Long-time collaborators, in 2008, they co-authored Design with Constructal Theory. Teaching a related course this semester, Dr. Lorente says: “The subject of Adrian’s new book on evolutionary design with freedom is an active field at Villanova University. I also know that he is truly grateful to the College of Engineering for having organized the National Science Foundation workshop and symposium in honor of his Benjamin Franklin Medal in April 2018.”
In addition to the Benjamin Franklin Medal, Dr. Bejan is the recipient of the prestigious Humboldt Research Award (2019) for thermodynamics and the constructal law of natural design and its evolution in engineering, science and social systems. His degrees are from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The author of more than 30 books and 650 peer-refereed journal articles, Dr. Bejan has been awarded 18 honorary doctorates from universities in 11 countries, from France to Azerbaijan, and from Brazil to South Africa.