Welcome 2018 Research and Engineering Apprenticeship Program (REAP) Interns

We are pleased to welcome the following 2018 Research and Engineering Apprenticeship Program (REAP) interns to the HEMI for the summer: Taylor Beverly (Eleanor Roosevelt HS), Chimmuanya Iheanyi-Igwe (Howard HS), Grace Kim (Poolesville HS), and Brook Mesfin (Walter Johnson HS)!

HEMI’s REAP interns were selected through a very competitive application process.  Each student will work with a HEMI faculty advisor and have a graduate student/postdoctoral fellow as a mentor.  The REAP mentors are: Kimberly Andes, Joel Clemmer, Aakash Bangalore Satish, and Noah Wade.  We are looking forward seeing the progress of these summer research projects.

REAP is an Army Educational Outreach Program that places talented high school students in research internships area colleges and universities. In REAP, a summer STEM program, students work on a hands-on research project under the direct supervision of a mentor, exposing them to the real world of research and allowing them to gain valuable mentorship and learn about education and career opportunities in STEM.  Each year, over 120 students participate in REAP nationwide at 42 participating universities.  Approximately 90% of the REAP interns pursue STEM studies at the post-secondary level.

2018 REAP Interns from left: Chimmuanya Iheanyi-Igwe, Taylor Beverly, Brook Mesfin, Grace Kim.

HEMI Announces Establishment of Named Postdoctoral Fellowships

We are pleased to announce the establishment of Named HEMI Postdoctoral Fellowships.  There is an increasing recognition at the great research universities that the effective support and mentoring of high-quality postdocs is a critical need in order to develop and attract top faculty to their institutions. Unfortunately, there are very few formal programs of this type available for postdocs. Recognizing this void, the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute worked with the Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering Development Office to create high-visibility and competitive named fellowships to fill this need and enable HEMI to pursue strategic research areas. These fellowships will be competitively awarded and would bring prestige to the individual, the donor and the university. The fellowship supports the postdoc’s salary, supplies and travel to present their research. This opportunity will be the result of a designated gift to HEMI from an individual donor or company. HEMI and its faculty would match the gift amount in order to attract postdocs of the highest caliber. If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity, please contact Mr. Tim Richardson, WSE Associate Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations (timr@jhu.edu or 410.516.5134).

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a postdoctoral scholar?

A postdoctoral scholar, commonly known as a postdoc is an individual who has recently earned their doctorate. A postdoc, typically pursuing an academic career will spend two years at a top university advancing their research under the guidance of a distinguished faculty member.

Why is this fellowship important and what does it support?

There is an increasing recognition at the great research universities that the effective support and mentoring of high-quality postdocs is a critical need in order to develop and attract top faculty to their institutions. Unfortunately, there are very few formal programs of this type available for postdocs. High-visibility and competitive named fellowships would help to fill this need, and enable HEMI to pursue strategic research areas. These fellowships would be competitively awarded and would bring prestige to the individual, the donor and the university. The fellowship supports the postdoc’s salary, supplies and travel to present their research.

What does the donor receive?

The fellowship would have the title of: “Donor name or designated name” HEMI Postdoctoral Fellowship at Johns Hopkins University. The donor would be invited to Johns Hopkins to be recognized, meet the postdoc and key leaders, tour the Institute, be listed on the Institute’s website and kept informed of the postdoc’s accomplishments.

What is the cost for this opportunity?

A donor would contribute $30,000 per year with a commitment of two years. HEMI would match the donor’s $30,000 contribution, plus provide an additional $18,000 per year to facilitate attracting the top postdoc candidates.

What is HEMI?

The Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute (HEMI) is one of the premier research institutes at Johns Hopkins. The Institute’s vision is develop the science and technology that protect the people, structures and the planet. The Institute designs materials for extreme environments such as bullet impacts, explosions and asteroid cratering. HEMI facilities are state-of-the-art; providing scientists the ability to see these events at the moment of impact. Federal agencies such as the DoD, NASA, NSF and NIH fund HEMI research to solve their most challenging problems. The Institute has a broad impact across the United States with research opportunities for graduate, undergraduate and high school students. Locally, HEMI has programs with Morgan State University and the Maryland Institute College of Art to enrich the greater Baltimore community.

Announcing the 2018 HEMI/MICA Extreme Arts Program Summer Interns

We are pleased to welcome Sandi Li (Interdisciplinary Structure) and Amy Wetsch (Multidiciplinary Art) as the 2018 HEMI/MICA Extreme Arts Program summer internship participants!

Sandy will be working with Prof. Sung Hoon Kang (Dept. of Mechanical Engineering) on learning more about and creating sustainable materials. Amy is working with Prof. Sarah Hörst (Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences) to create mixed media sculptures that showcase the atmosphere of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan.

We’re excited to have these women work with our Fellows for the summer and can’t wait to see their final projects!

Three HEMI Fellows Receive Johns Hopkins Discovery Awards for Interdisciplinary Projects

Congratulations to the three HEMI Fellows who were recently named as 2018 Johns Hopkins Discovery Award recipients! Prof. Muyinatu Bell (Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering), Prof. Tamas Budavari (Dept. of Applied Mathematics & Statistics), and Prof. Tyrel McQueen (Department of Chemistry) are all a part of cross-disciplinary teams whose projects are poised to arrive at important discoveries or creative works. The expectation is that the recipients of Discovery Awards will spark new, synergistic interactions between investigators across the institution and lead to work of the highest quality and impact.

Below are the project titles and teams:

Photoacoustic Image Guidance of Gynecological Surgeries – Muyinatu Bell (Engineering) & Karen Wang (Medicine)

Averting an Autonomous Vehicle Winter – Johnathon Ehsani (Public Health), Tak Igusa (Engineering), Tamas Budavari (Engineering), Jon Vernick (Public Health) & Lingxin Hao (Arts & Sciences)

Uncovering Forbidden Fruit – Patricia McGuiggan (Engineering), Tamas Budavari (Engineering), Jennifer Jarvis (Libraries), Andrea Hall (Libraries) & Alex Szalay (Arts & Sciences)

Exotic Superconductors by Design – Jonah Erlebacher (Engineering) & Tyrel McQueen (Arts & Sciences)

In 2018, 30 Discovery Awards were given to interdisciplinary faculty teams across eight Johns Hopkins divisions. The winning project teams—chosen from 190 proposals—include 108 individuals representing 11 Johns Hopkins entities.

Jenna Frye Chosen as 2018 HEMI/MICA Artist in Residence

Please join us in welcoming the 2018 HEMI/MICA Artist in Residence, Prof. Jenna Frye!

Prof. Frye serves as the Assistant Department Chair of the First Year Experience at MICA. Her proposed project, “Playful Patterns,” aims to survey the different patterns and visual systems currently being researched in several of HEMI’s labs and finding patterning systems that lend themselves to playful interaction by way of modular tiles, blocks, or other educational objects.

Ideally, she hopes to discover a cohesive relationship between the physical form of the objects and the playful design interaction and the research findings of the team so that the experience of the play would speak to the research being conducted.

Frye is expected to collaborate with HEMI Fellows Prof. Sung Hoon Kang and Prof. June Wicks on her project.

Joint JHU/ARL Postdoctoral Fellowship Position Available

Joint Johns Hopkins / Army Research Lab Postdoctoral Fellowship Position

The Shields Uncertainty Research Group (SURG) in the Dept. of Civil Engineering at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and the Computational and Information Sciences Directorate of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) are seeking applications for the position of Postdoctoral Fellow. The postdoc will work on a collaborative effort to build novel stochastic simulation-based methodologies for advanced computational uncertainty quantification in hierarchical materials modeling. Particular areas of interest include reduced-order modeling, surrogate modeling, active learning, multi-scale and multi-fidelity modeling. Candidates must possess a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Applied Mathematics, Computational Science and Engineering or a related field. The candidate must further possess a strong working knowledge of probability theory and experience with numerical modeling of physical (preferably, but not necessarily materials) systems. Strong preference will be given to candidates with previous experience in stochastic simulation-based uncertainty quantification using, for example, advanced Monte Carlo simulations, polynomial chaos expansions, sparse-grid stochastic collocation, stochastic reduced-order models, stochastic surrogate models, or related concepts. Programming in Python will be required. Candidates should send a CV, brief (1 page) statement of research experience/interests, and contact information for 2-3 references to Prof. Michael Shields at michael.shields@jhu.edu. Priority will be given to applications received before August 1, 2018 although the position will remain open until filled.

The postdoc will be appointed through the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute (www.hemi.jhu.edu) with an expectation that time will be shared between JHU and ARL to foster strong collaboration between the groups. JHU is located in the city of Baltimore, MD and ARL is located at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Aberdeen, MD. The two sites are approximately 45 mins apart. Regular travel between the two sites will be required.

Asteroid Architecture: HEMI Graduate Student Charles El Mir Showcased in the Summer Issue of JHU Engineering Magazine

Congratulations to HEMI graduate student Charles El Mir on being featured in the Summer 2018 issue of JHU Engineering magazine! El Mir’s article speaks about his research on thermal fatigue as it relates to asteroids.

“Some asteroids are hundreds of kilometers across, and their structure might change over thousands of years or at the moment of impact. We’re trying to figure out something you could never replicate in a lab. That’s why my lab is our big computational cluster, a group of computers working together,” he says, referring to the Maryland Advanced Research Computing Center, jointly operated by Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland, College Park.

El Mir also studies what happens in the hours after a large impact, modeling how material might be expelled but still interact with the asteroid’s gravitational field.

“We’re still at the very early stages of space exploration,” he says. “I feel that there’s no better challenge than outer space. I want to keep exploring.”

Click here to read the full article.


HEMI Research Faculty Position Available: Emerging Areas of Mechanics, Materials, and Structures


Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute
Johns Hopkins University

Emerging Areas of Mechanics, Materials, and Structures

The Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute at Johns Hopkins University invites applications for a non-tenure track research professor (at any rank) in emerging areas of of mechanics, materials, and structures. Areas of interest include (but are not limited to) uncertainty quantification, machine learning, data science, materials characterization and processing, and applied computational mechanics. It is expected that the successful candidate will build strong new partnerships with industry, government, and other sectors. Application areas of interest include defense, engineering industry (e.g. automotive, aerospace, etc.), biomechanics, materials processing, and materials data management. Experiments, theory and simulation are all of interest.

The successful candidate for this position will have a primary appointment in the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute (hemi.jhu.edu), a multidivisional institute at Johns Hopkins University that is devoted to advancing the fundamental science associated with materials and structures under extreme conditions and/or exhibiting extreme performance. The candidate will work in a diverse environment with collaborations across departments and schools at Johns Hopkins, potentially including the Whiting School of Engineering, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, Applied Physics Laboratory, and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

The successful candidate must have an earned doctorate in mechanical engineering, civil engineering, materials science, physics, applied mathematics, or related fields. She/he is expected to establish a strong, externally funded and self-sustaining research program, and may also engage in the academic program. Some potential funding sources may require US citizenship or permanent residency.

All applications should be submitted to: https://apply.interfolio.com/50974. The electronic application should include (i) a cover letter describing the principal expertise and accomplishments of the applicant, (ii) a curriculum vita, (iii) a 3 page research statement including research directions, future plans, and potential funding sources, and (iv) three representative journal publications. Candidates applying for the position should also enter the names and contact information of at least three (3) references in the online application system. Application packages will begin to be considered during the summer of 2018 and will be accepted until the position is filled. Johns Hopkins University is committed to building a diverse environment; women and minorities are strongly encouraged to apply. The Johns Hopkins University is an EEO/AA Employer.

Prof. Susanna Thon from Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Joins HEMI

Please join us in welcoming the newest HEMI Fellow, Prof. Susanna Thon! Prof. Thon is an assistant professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering who researches nanomaterials engineering for optoelectronic devices, with a specific focus on renewable energy conversion and storage. She received the 2017 HEMI Seed grant for the project “Defect Formation in Optoelectronic Nanoparticle Films Under Extreme Illumination Conditions,” which aimed to discover the physical identity and formation mechanisms of the performance-limiting defects in CQD-based solar cell and photodetector films under extreme illumination conditions.

She earned her Bachelors degree in Physics from MIT in 2005 and her Masters (2008) and PhD (2010) in Physics from the University of California Santa Barbara.