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Denton, TX
Camp Copass

Conference on Engineering in Living Systems

We are pleased to announce that the Conference on Engineering in Living Systems (CELS) is set for 2023 and will again be held in Denton, Texas.

CELS brings together leading engineers and biologists in order to: (1) apply engineering principles to better understand biological systems, (2) craft a design-based theoretical framework that explains and predicts the behaviors of living systems, and (3) develop research programs that demonstrate the engineering principles at work in living systems.

This year’s conference will follow a workshop-like format of discussion-oriented sessions in a collegial setting, with a goal of fostering active participation and establishing concrete results and action items. Join us as we build a theoretical framework and research programs demonstrating the design principles at work in living systems!

Topics include the following:

  • Intersection of Biology and Engineering — the impacts of engineering thinking in the study of biology
  • Architecture of Living Systems — design principles and design patterns in living systems
  • Theory of Design — theoretical foundations for a positive theory of design in living systems
  • Adaptation — mechanisms and processes used by living systems to adapt to changing circumstances and environments
  • Coherence — organization of capabilities and processes to achieve and sustain life
  • Orchestration and Optimization — control systems and lifecycle processes
  • Interdependency and Causal Circularity — how complex and coherent systems are initialized and jumpstarted
  • Resilience — failure prevention and anti-fragility in living systems
  • Applications and Models — formal methods for modeling and understanding of living systems

How to apply:

Space is limited, so we will be taking applications for attendance, with priority given to those who are able to attend all three days of the conference and actively contribute in the working sessions.

If you are interested in attending, please click the “apply” button to the right. If accepted, you will be notified approximately 2-4 weeks after submitting your application.

CELS 2023 is organized by the Engineering Research Group (ERG) at the Center for Science & Culture, Discovery Institute.


Thursday, June 1
8:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Friday, June 2
8:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Saturday, June 3
8:00 AM – 9:00 PM


Camp Copass
8200 E McKinney St.
Denton, TX 76208


Early-bird: $225 (before April 1)
Regular: $325 (after April 1)

Includes conference registration and all meals during the conference; attendees will be responsible for their own travel and accommodations. We have reserved a limited number of rooms at the retreat center for an additional fee. Rooms may be purchased at the time of registration.


Contact Steve Laufmann at