Announcing the HEMI AI-M Seed Grant Opportunity

The Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute (HEMI) is pleased to announce a funding opportunity to support seed grants in the research area of Advancing Extreme Materials using Artificial Intelligence Approaches.

This opportunity will fund research activities that advance the understanding of materials and materials design for extreme environments through artificial intelligence/machine learning/data science. Directions of interest include the development of AI methods that can be applied to mechanics and materials, the use of existing AI tools to advance material design for extreme environments, and the conceptualization and development of AI driven integrations of processing, characterization, and modeling of materials.

The Materials in Extreme Dynamic Environments (MEDE) program, the primary source of funds, seeks to advance the use of AI tools for material design and development.  However, MEDE-specific material systems need not be examined in order to advance such tools.

Eligibility: All faculty and researchers at the Johns Hopkins University (as well as Applied Physics Laboratory Staff) who can serve as Principal Investigators (PIs) and Co-Investigators (Co-PIs) are eligible to apply. A co-investigator may be from another university/institution, but all funded postdocs and students must be at JHU.

This seed grant opportunity complements the 2020 JHU Discovery Awards call, emphasizing research related to artificial intelligence. It is anticipated that between 3 and 4 proposals will be awarded, totaling approximately $1 million. HEMI will coordinate with JHURA and the Vice-Provost’s office to avoid funding of the same proposal by multiple sources.

Click here for additional information, including: budget guidance, proposal format, evaluation criteria, expectations for award recipients, and important deadlines.

HEMI Fellow Muyinatu ‘Bisi’ Bell Receives IEEE UFFC Star Ambassador Lectureship Award

Congratulations to HEMI Fellow Muyinatu Bell on receiving an IEEE UFFC Star Ambassador Lectureship Award! Bell is an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. She is recognized internationally for her pioneering work in medical imaging technology, and has received numerous other awards, grants, and fellowships for her research.

The Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control Society (UFFC) established the IEEE UFFC Star Ambassador Lectureship Award for young professionals and early career speakers who have demonstrated broad knowledge in, and made significant contributions to, their respective fields. The Award looks to support more contact and collaboration between these future leaders as they deliver technical talks and highlight their research within their geographic regions. Each Award provides travel support reimbursement for up to $2500.

Congratulations again, Professor Bell!

Learn more about Professor Bell and her research within HEMI in this short video feature >>

Application Period Open for 2020 Professional Development Workshop in Ceramics

The 2020 Professional Development Workshop in Ceramics will be held on June 4-5, 2020 on the campus of Johns Hopkins University. The purpose of this workshop is to provide career-development opportunities for selected early-career faculty in the area of ceramics science and engineering, while also strengthening the ceramics community through networking interactions among all participants. The workshop will also facilitate a broader discussion on emerging research areas in ceramics science and engineering.

The workshop will feature technical presentations from recent CAREER awardees in the National Science Foundation Ceramics Program, feedback from expert panelists on research and scholarship, and panel discussions led by experts on a variety of topics, including mentoring success stories, managing a research group, identifying and avoiding unconscious bias, navigating the tenure track, and a facilitated discussion of the future of ceramics research and education.

We encourage the participation of interested early-career researchers. There are limited spots available, so please fill out the application as soon as possible, and no later than April 17, 2020. Travel grants are available to cover part or all of the travel expenses for selected early-career researchers.

Please apply to attend the workshop at the following link:

Questions? Contact Matthew McDowell at

Dr. Laszlo Kecskes Named a HEMI Fellow

Please join us in welcoming our newest HEMI Fellow, Dr. Laszlo Kecskes! Dr. Kecskes is currently a Research Professor within HEMI. His research involves the dynamic behavior of novel material (metals and polymers) systems as well as the creation of materials under extreme processing conditions that lead to unique to meta-stable sub-structures as a means to modify their nominal behavior.

Dr. Kecskes earned a BS in Physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a Masters in Physics from the University of Minnesota, and his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Delaware. Previously, he conducted research for the U.S. Ballistics Research Laboratory as well as for the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Army Research Laboratory, where he served as co-lead of the Metals Collaborative Materials Group, a subset within the Center for Materials in Extreme Dynamic Environments.


2020 HEMI/MICA Extreme Arts Summer Project/Internship Application Period Now Open

We are pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for the 2020 HEMI/MICA Extreme Arts Summer Project/Internship.

The goal of the HEMI/MICA Extreme Arts Summer Project/Internship is to explore visual representations of the HEMI organization, structure, current research, and relationships. Visual representations can include: storyboarding and narrative, animation, photography, graphic design, interactive arts, or products, games, information visualization, illustration, or drawing.

Current MICA undergraduate or graduate students are able to apply for this internship. The applicant must also identify a MICA faculty member to serve as their advisor for this project/internship.

The total award for this summer project/internship is $3,000. $2,000 will be granted to the student as a stipend that will also cover any supplies or expenses. $1,000 will be granted to the MICA faculty member for his/her time to support and oversee the development of the project.

Deadline: Monday, February 10, 2020

For more information and how to apply please click here.

Announcing the HEMI/APL Seed Grant Opportunity

The Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute (HEMI) and the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) are pleased to announce our first HEMI/APL collaborative seed grant
program. The goal of this program is to provide seed funding with the intent of bringing together scientists and engineers from HEMI and APL to collaborate on research topics of
mutual interest.

While all directions related to the HEMI mission will be considered, directions of particular interest are topics that emerged from the joint, HEMI/APL collaboration meeting
held at APL on May 17, 2019. These topics include:

  • Hypersonics
    • Surface Roughness Effects under Hypersonic Flight Conditions
    • Sensing in Hypersonic Environments
    • Characterization, including Hyperspectral Imaging, of Thermal Spray/HVOF
    • High Temperature Gas Gun Capability Development
  • Additive Manufacturing
    • Effects of Shielding Gases
    • Hyperspectral Imaging of AM Processing
  • Armor and High Rate Impact
    • High Rate Mechanical Behavior/Mechanisms of AM Metal Matrix Composites
    • Shear Bands in Tungsten
    • Design and Optimization of Transparent Armor Materials
    • Modeling of UHMWPE Helmets
    • High Rate Characterization and Modeling of Mechanophoric Gels
    • Skull Characterization and Testing
    • Tissue/Organ Modeling

Proposal submissions are due by 5 p.m. on Monday, January 20, 2020. Please email the proposal as a single PDF document and the budget/budget justification in Excel to

For more information on the award, eligibility requirements, and proposal format, click here.

HEMI Fellow Ryan Hurley Receives NSF Career Award

Congratulations to HEMI Fellow and Department of Mechanical Engineering assistant professor Ryan Hurley, who has been chosen by the National Science Foundation for its prestigious CAREER Award!

The CAREER Award, which recognizes the highest level of excellence in early-stage researchers, is one of the NSF’s most competitive awards and emphasizes high-quality research and novel education initiatives. It provides funding so that young investigators have the opportunity to focus more intently on furthering their research careers.

The five-year grant will support Hurley’s project, “Quantifying Local Rearrangements and Their Effects in 3D Granular Materials.” Through this project, Hurley plans to explore and address the hypothesis that certain features of local particle rearrangements can quantitatively describe the behavior of 3D granular materials. With the data yielded from this research, Hurley hopes to overcome prior challenges with validating and developing theories and laws involving such materials, and thus broaden the field’s basic understanding of the topic. Additionally, the educational activities through this grant will provide opportunities for a Ph.D. student, undergraduate summer students, and high-school students from groups under-represented in STEM to train and develop skills in the field.

Hurley received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 2011. He then went on to the California Institute of Technology, completing a master’s degree and Ph.D. program in applied mechanics in 2012 and 2015, respectively. Prior to joining the Whiting School of Engineering faculty in 2017, Hurley held an appointment as an assistant research professor at Johns Hopkins while finishing postdoctoral studies in computational geosciences at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Congrats again, Prof. Hurley!

Click here to learn more about Prof. Hurley’s research >>


2020 HEMI/MICA Extreme Arts Program Artist in Residence Application Period Now Open

The application period for the 2020 HEMI/MICA Extreme Arts Program Artist/Designer in Residence is now open!

The goal of this artist/designer in residence is to bring MICA and JHU faculty together to collaborate and explore ways to represent, visualize, and/or interpret HEMI research. Representations of HEMI research can include, but are not limited to:

  • Responses to research regarding HEMI ‘extreme’ events, collaborations, interdependent systems
  • Interpretation, translation, and/or communication of large amounts of data
  • Creation of experiences that bridge the gap between new audiences and the knowledge created within HEMI
  • Conceptual, textual, ephemeral, and/or visual works that expand the interpretations of HEMI research

The semester in residence is expected to take place in either the fall semester from late August – December 2020 or the spring semester from January – May 2021.

Proposals are due by 5PM on Friday, February 14, 2020. Please email the proposal as a single PDF document to Bess Bieluczyk ( Questions may be addressed to Bess as well.

Click here for more information about the requirements and proposal process.

HEMI Fellow Vicky Nguyen Delivers Inaugural Professorial Lecture on Optic Nerve Head Research

Glaucoma is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by damage to the optic nerve axons and remodeling of the connective tissues in the optic nerve head. High pressure in the eye is a major risk factor for the disease, and lowering this pressure is currently the only effective way to slow the disease’s progression.

On September 25, HEMI Fellow Vicky Nguyen delivered her lecture “Biomechanics of the optic nerve head in glaucoma” as part of the Don P. Giddens Inaugural Professorial Lecture (IPL) Series. Prof. Nguyen’s research focuses on understanding the fundamental biomechanical mechanisms through which changes in the intraocular pressure alter the physiological function of cells and remodel the collagen structures of the optic nerve head.

Her lecture for the IPL series described her ongoing work to measure the deformation response of the cellular and connective tissue structures of the optic nerve head to pressure. She further discussed the work to characterize its alterations with age and glaucoma, model the effects of structural variation on the deformation and stress response, and investigate the mechanisms through which stress can direct connective tissue growth and remodeling. HEMI Director K.T. Ramesh also delivered remarks prior to her talk.

Nguyen is a professor in JHU’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Marlin U. Zimmerman, Jr. Faculty Scholar, and holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. She received her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1998, and MS and PhD degrees from Stanford University in 2000 and 2004, respectively. Since joining Johns Hopkins in 2007, her work has focused on the mechanics of soft engineering and biological materials. She also is an expert on the complex mechanics of the eye.