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.