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Conference on Engineering in Living Systems
La Mirada, CA
Biola University — Feinberg Hall

Conference on Engineering in Living Systems


Due to the coronavirus outbreak, this event has been postponed. Once a new date has been selected, we will alert subscribers via email. To subscribe, visit

We are pleased to announce the Conference on Engineering in Living Systems (CELS 2020) to be held in spring 2020 at Biola University.

CELS 2020 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.

The 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.

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

We hope you are as excited as we are for this unique opportunity, and look forward to seeing you at CELS 2020!

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 participating, please follow the green button at right to complete and submit a brief application. If accepted, you will be notified within approximately 2-4 weeks after you submit your application, so that you can arrange your travel.

CELS 2020 is organized by the Engineering Research Group (ERG) at the Center for Science & Culture, Discovery Institute, in conjunction with the School of Science, Technology and Health, the Chemistry, Physics and Engineering Department, and MA, Science and Religion at Biola University.


April 23–25, 2020


Biola University
13800 Biola Avenue
La Mirada, CA 90639


Early Bird Rate — $450

(Increases to $550 after March 31)

Includes meals and shuttles from the conference hotel to the Biola campus, but attendees will be responsible for their own travel and accommodations. We have reserved a limited block of rooms at a nearby hotel.


Contact Steve Laufmann at [email protected].