HEMI celebrates 11 years

The Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute (HEMI) celebrated its 11th birthday at its weekly tea event on Tuesday, April 25. Faculty, staff, post-doctoral fellows, and students gathered outside HEMI’s offices in Malone Hall to commemorate the milestone with cupcakes and festive décor in addition to the usual offerings of tea and enriching conversation.

Longtime members of HEMI–some of whom have been with the institute since its inception–were in attendance, including K.T. Ramesh, the Alonzo G. Decker, Jr. Professor of Science and Engineering and HEMI director, and Lori Graham-Brady, a professor in the Department of Civil and Systems Engineering and HEMI associate director. Ramesh gave brief remarks, thanking everyone for coming and being a part of HEMI.

Established on April 16, 2012, HEMI has made a significant impact on the world through its research and has a global reputation as a formidable driver of cutting-edge research into materials in extreme environments. HEMI’s research has expanded what is known about how materials act under extreme conditions. The institute has been awarded two major centers by the Department of Defense and has managed more than 40 subawards to partner universities and research organizations in 20 states and four foreign countries.

HEMI is actively involved in the Baltimore community through internships with Morgan State University, the Maryland Institute College of Art, and Maryland high schools. As one of Whiting School of Engineering’s (WSE) leading annual recipients of sponsored research, HEMI researchers work in areas that have a powerful impact, from finding ways to better protect our armed forces and safeguarding the human body during collisions to working to mitigate and control risks arising from weapons of mass destruction.

The sense of collaboration and congeniality at HEMI’s event highlighted the institute’s dedication to teamwork which, alongside their focus on research, plays a massive role in their success.

“What sets HEMI apart is our amazing staff and culture. We started with a team of four. Today there are 15 staff members, and we have plans to grow. We’re a bigger team than we were ten years ago, but that familial, team-based approach and culture is still there. It drives us to not only do our best, but to do what’s best for the staff as a whole,” said Scott McGhee, HEMI senior administrative manager.


HEMI hosts major program review for the U.S. Army Research Laboratory

The Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute (HEMI) recently hosted the High-Throughput Materials Discovery for Extreme Conditions (HTMDEC) program review on the Homewood campus.

The HTMDEC program aims to combine automation and machine learning techniques with material manufacturing and characterization to withstand and perform under extreme conditions. Sponsored by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL), the program will develop the necessary methodologies, models, algorithms, synthesis and processing techniques, as well as the necessary characterization and testing, to dramatically accelerate the discovery of novel materials using data-driven approaches.

The review was co-chaired by Chris Haines, Senior Metallurgist at ARL and Debjoy Mallick, Research Scientist at ARL. Over 100 individuals attended the review, including principal investigators from 12 universities, two companies, and a significant number of ARL researchers. The review consisted of formal presentations by the 11 seedling research projects and a poster session. HEMI fellows, Lori Graham-Brady, Dave Elbert, Todd Hufnagel, KT Ramesh, and Michael Shields are investigators in 4 of the 11 seedlings.

Because of its professional staff and experience in successfully planning and executing high-profile events, ARL requested that HEMI host this event. The hosting of this event exemplifies HEMI and ARL’s strong collaborative partnership.

HEMI launches the Center on Artificial Intelligence for Materials in Extreme Environments

The Johns Hopkins University announces the establishment of the Center on Artificial Intelligence for Materials in Extreme Environments (CAIMEE), a new center within the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute dedicated to the development of new materials and structures for use in extreme environments through the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Materials in extreme environments present numerous research challenges that CAIMEE aims to solve by leveraging robotics, novel experimentation, accelerated computational models, and data-driven design iterations. Directed by Lori Graham-Brady, associate director of HEMI and professor in the Department of Civil and Systems Engineering, CAIMEE brings together 12 PIs and collaborators from several institutions to overcome these barriers. Jaafar El-Awady, a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, will serve as CAIMEE’s co-director.

The center has a mission of enabling the development of materials with properties tailored for sustainable performance in extreme environments like those encountered by the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. According to the announcement from Dean Ed Schlesinger, the new tools and technologies to be employed by CAIMEE researchers will revolutionize the way materials design decisions are made and will provide comprehensive data and information for sustainable materials development in extreme environments.

This new center is a significant development in the field of research and will have a direct impact on the development of essential materials for critical applications. It is expected that CAIMEE’s work will significantly contribute to the growth of innovations and discoveries that will help governments and industries tackle critical problems.

Johns Hopkins launches international search for new Director of the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute

Dean Schlesinger and the HEMI Executive Committee have launched an international search for the new Director of the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute.

Building on HEMI’s first decade of groundbreaking work in the analysis of materials in extreme environments that cover space, defense, and climate, the new Director will have the opportunity to further establish the Institute as the leading site for innovative work in the field of extreme materials and structures, advancing our collaborations across the Whiting School, the Krieger School of Arts & Sciences, and the Applied Physics Lab, and beyond Hopkins with external partners and sponsors.

Dean Schlesinger and the HEMI Advisory Committee have formed a search committee, chaired by Professor Tim Weihs, and have engaged Opus Partners as external advisors to the search. The position announcement is available here and on the websites of a range of professional and scholarly associations. To nominate potential internal or external candidates or to express interest in being considered as a candidate, contact Tim Weihs in his capacity as search committee chair or contact our consultants at Opus via [email protected].

Sabine Stanley named next vice provost for graduate and professional education

HEMI Fellow Sabine Stanley, a planetary physicist whose research aims to answer fundamental questions about the nature and interior structure of planets in our solar system and beyond, has been named vice provost of graduate and professional education at Johns Hopkins University.

“We are fortunate to be able to call on someone with Sabine’s leadership and administrative experience to build on the great foundation that Nancy has created,” said Provost Sunil Kumar.

Sabine is passionate about graduate and postdoctoral training and has extensive experience in teaching and mentoring students.

Stanley joined the university in 2017 as a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor in the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences at JHU’s Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and in the Space Exploration Sector of the Applied Physics Lab. She is a renowned physicist whose work focuses on planetary magnetic fields, dynamo theory, and planetary interiors and evolution.

Stanley received a BSc degree in physics and astronomy from the University of Toronto and MA and PhD degrees in geophysics from Harvard. She will assume her provost’s office role beginning May 1.

“I’m excited to take on this role and work with the provost’s office and all the schools to support our graduate student and postdoctoral training missions,” said Stanley.

Portions of this article was excerpted from The Hub. You can view the full story here. 


HEMI welcomes new Grants & Contracts Analyst

The Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute (HEMI) is pleased to welcome Annie Abbott. Annie will be a grants and contracts analyst working closely with HEMI fellows on pre and post sponsored research awards, managing account reviews, and subrecipient invoicing and monitoring. She previously worked as the project coordinator for Continuing Workforce Education at Florida State College at Jacksonville, where she helped lead the Open-Door Grant Program.

Abbott is an Arkansas native and a graduate of Henderson State University. She and her family love their home state Razorbacks and support the Jacksonville Jags, Icemen and Shrimp. Her children’s baseball and band activities keep the family busy, and they enjoy going camping.

“I am excited to be joining such an amazing team. I look forward to working with the HEMI team as well as meeting others across JHU. As a first-generation student, higher education is a passion and being around others with that same passion is truly amazing,” said Abbott.

High school apprenticeship opportunities in HEMI

For the 8th consecutive year, the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute (HEMI) has partnered with the Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) to provide high school apprenticeship opportunities.

Students will work on an exciting research project in HEMI which is one of Johns Hopkins University’s premier, non-medical engineering institutes. HEMI’s mission is to advance the fundamental science associated with materials and structures under extreme conditions and demonstrating extreme performance. Students will assist HEMI faculty and graduate students with conducting experiments, developing software code to perform computational analysis/modeling, and in synthesizing new materials. These apprenticeships are best suited for students interested in the following engineering disciplines: mechanical, civil/systems, electrical, chemical/biomolecular, and materials science. Students will improve their communication skills by presenting their research project in a research group meeting, poster symposium, and at a final presentation event attended by US Army and university VIPs.

The dates of the apprenticeships are tentatively scheduled for June 27 through August 7, 2023. Students will be able to earn a stipend of $3,000. The apprenticeships are focused on students from underrepresented minorities in STEM.

For more information and to apply, visit: https://www.usaeop.com/program/high-school-apprenticeships/ The deadline to apply is March 5, 2023.

HEMI Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Launched in 2012 with a $90 million grant from the U.S. Army, the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute (HEMI) is celebrating its 10th anniversary and the progress it has made in its mission to develop the science and technology needed to protect people, structures, and the planet.

In addition to establishing itself as a global leader in the area of materials in extreme environments, HEMI also launched major research initiatives that have supported collaborations between academia, industry, and government, including the Center for Materials in Extreme Dynamic Environments (which has just completed its mission) and the Materials Science for Extreme Environments University Research Alliance. HEMI also has amplified its impact by  managing more than 40 subawards to partner universities and research organizations in 20 states and four foreign countries.

In the Baltimore region, they have led partnerships with leading institutions, including the Extreme Science Internship program with Morgan State University and the Extreme Arts program with the Maryland Institute College of Art.

HEMI currently has 50 Fellows from the Whiting School and JHU’s Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and Applied Physics Laboratory.Learn more about HEMI’s accomplishments, this important milestone, and what lies ahead in their new video.

HEMI Fellows awarded best papers at MS&T conference

Lori Graham-Brady, HEMI associate director and professor in the Department of Civil and Systems Engineering and KT Ramesh, the Alonzo G. Decker Professor of Science and Engineering and director of HEMI, were awarded best papers by the Journal of the American Ceramic Society. On October 11, 2022, their winning papers were presented at a special awards symposium at the Materials Science and Technology Technical Meeting and Exhibition in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.   

Graham-Brady’s paper is titled, “Fragmentation and Granular Transition of Ceramics for High Rate Loading,” and included co-authors Amartya Bhattacharjee and Ryan Hurley of Johns Hopkins University. 

“Models for the Behavior of Boron Carbide in Extreme Dynamic Environments,” is the title of K.T. Ramesh’s winning paper. Co-authors included: Lori Graham-Brady, Ryan Hurley, Mark Robbins, Amartya Bhattacharjee, Qinglei Zeng, Weixin Li, and Nilanjan Mitra from Johns Hopkins University; William Goddard, California Institute of Technology; Andrew Tonge, DEVCOM Army Research Laboratory; Joel Clemmer, Sandia National Laboratories; and Qi An, University of Nevada, Reno. 

Both papers were the result of research conducted in the Center for Materials in Extreme Dynamic Environments(CMEDE), a center within the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute. Funded by the DEVCOM Army Research Laboratory, CMEDE research has developed a materials-by-design process for protection materials which have military armor applications.