A team led by Johns Hopkins engineers has opened a new materials research Center of Excellence that will develop novel computational and experimental methods to support the next generation of military aircraft.
The Center of Excellence on Integrated Material Modeling (CEIMM) will advance the Integrated Computational Materials Science and Engineering Initiative, which focuses on materials applications within a digital framework. The methods are expected to contribute to the design of high-performance devices and components in future aircraft structures and turbine engines. The long-term goal is to produce lightweight, yet durable, components for future military aircraft, from fighter jets to surveillance drones.
The center, at Johns Hopkins’ Homewood campus in Baltimore, brings together the nation’s top academic, military and industry researchers under a $3 million U.S. AirForce award, to be disbursed over three years. The center includes researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of California Santa Barbara. CEIMM will seek to continue operating beyond three years by seeking additional funding from the Air Force and other government and industrial sponsors.
“Our initiative seeks to shorten the time required to benefit from advantages offered by advanced materials,” said Barry L. Farmer, chief scientist of the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, at the Air Force Research Laboratory in Ohio. “We believe that a spectrum of computational tools, coupled with advances in experimental capabilities, can alter the paradigm of how materials are selected and utilized today.”
Researchers will focus on developing novel modeling and experimental techniques that can be applied across several classes of structural materials. Proof of concept will be shown in alloys for high temperature applications and polymer matrix composite materials for aerospace components such as the chassis and fuselage.
“We’ll start by understanding existing materials from the atomic scale all the way to the structural scales through state-of-the-art research, and then we’ll move to designing a new generation of advanced aerospace materials,” said Somnath Ghosh, the Michael G. Callas professor in Johns Hopkins’ departments of Civil Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, who is the director of CEIMM.
The center will operate within the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute (HEMI) which opened earlier this year. The institute focuses on the behavior of materials and systems under extreme conditions and will apply this research to a range of related areas.