HEMI Graduate Student Jenna Krynicki Receives 2020 National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship

Congratulations to Jenna Krynicki, graduate student in the Weihs group at HEMI and in the Department of Material Sciences and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, for being awarded a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship.

Jenna is currently examining the microstructural evolution of magnesium alloys after processing for lightweight structural and armor applications. She will continue her work under HEMI Fellow and professor in the Department of Material Sciences and Engineering, Timothy Weihs.

“When I found out that I was awarded the NDSEG Fellowship, I was incredibly stunned and excited! I am honored and very grateful to have received this fellowship and am pleased to now have the opportunity to expand the scope of my research. I would like to acknowledge the incredible support that I have received from my advisor Professor Tim Weihs and from those in my department here at Johns Hopkins. Thank you to all!” she said.

The NDSEG is a competitive and prestigious fellowship that is awarded to United States citizens, nationals, and dual citizens who intend to pursue a Doctoral degree in designated research disciplines. The fellowship provides support for three years and is sponsored by the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, and the U.S. Air Force.

Learn more about the NDSEG fellowship here.

Dr. Dimitris Giovanis Named a HEMI Fellow

Please join us in welcoming our newest HEMI Fellow, Dr. Dimitris Giovanis! Dr. Giovanis is currently a Research Assistant Professor within the Johns Hopkins Department of Civil and Systems Engineering. His research interests lie in data-driven uncertainty quantification (UQ) approaches for parametric and model-form uncertainties, with applications in the decision-making and design of high-performance physical and structural systems.

Dr. Giovanis earned his five-year Diploma in Civil Engineering, his M.Sc. in Computational Mechanics from the Department of Chemical Engineering, and his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens in Greece. He is also a registered (licensed/chartered) professional civil engineer in Greece.

HEMI Postdoctoral Fellow Melissa Sims Receives 2020 NSF Earth Sciences Post-Doctoral Fellowship

Congratulations to Melissa Sims, Postdoctoral Fellow in the Wicks Lab at HEMI and in the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences, for being awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Earth Sciences Post-Doctoral Fellowship.

With her fellowship, titled “Windows into Ancient Impacts: Examining Meteoritics Research with New Approaches,” Sims will conduct independent research under HEMI Fellow and assistant professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences June Wicks as well as with Minta Akins in the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Sims will conduct experiments to better understand natural shock processes and explore phase transformation kinetics and deformation mechanisms in olivine and plagioclase. This is an extension of her current work in membrane-driven diamond anvil cell compression.

The NSF Earth Sciences Post-Doctoral Fellowship is awarded to those who have recently received doctoral degrees for independent research and professional development. The fellowship provides support for up to two years and recipients must address scientific questions in the Earth Sciences field.

Read more about Sims’ NSF Post-Doctoral Fellowship here.

Learn more about the NSF Earth Sciences Post-Doctoral fellowship here.

HEMI Fellow Muyinatu Bell Named in ISEE’s Black in Robotics Reading List

Congratulations to HEMI Fellow Muyinatu Bell, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and director of the Photoacoustic and Ultrasonic Systems Engineering (PULSE) Lab, who has been named to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (ISEE) Black in Robotics reading list.

Bell’s PULSE Lab uses computer engineering, biomedical optics, and computer science to combine photoacoustic imaging and robotics for improved accuracy in surgery, cancer detection, and women’s health. The list calls her a pioneer for her work in “medical imaging technology, robot-assisted imaging, and machine learning for image formation.”

ISEE created the Black in Robotics reading list to help overcome the systemic dynamics that have led to the underrepresentation of Black faculty members in academia. The list hopes to increase visibility and underscore the projects of these Black academics; the association also hopes to highlight role models for those interested in robotics and to normalize Black scholarship. It focuses on Black members of academia who work in robotics and in related fields.

Learn more about supporting Black scholars in robotics in ISEE’s article.

MSEE URA Research Area Lead Nick Glumac Quoted in New York Times Article about Beirut Blast

Nick Glumac, a research area lead within the Materials Science in Extreme Environments University Research Alliance (MSEE URA) and a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, recently provided insight regarding the deadly blast in Beirut in a New York Times article titled, “How a Massive Bomb Came Together in Beirut’s Port.”

The MSEE URA is a newly established center within HEMI comprised of 18 research institutions that work closely with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). Research within the URA is focused on understanding, predicting, and controlling the behavior of materials in extreme conditions caused by weapons of mass destruction. A full list of current member organizations can be found on the MSEE URA website.

HEMI Fellow Ryan Hurley Receives 2020 Space@Hopkins Seed Grant

Congratulations to Ryan Hurley, HEMI Fellow and assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, for being awarded a 2020 Space@Hopkins Seed Grant.

Hurley’s proposal, titled, “Electrostatically-Charged Contact Mechanics in Lunar and Martian Dust Environments,” pairs him with fellow assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering Rui Ni to create novel proof-of-concept experiments with the specific goal of relating particle roughness and charging to cohesion and friction during mechanical contact of rough particles with rough or smooth surfaces. Data from these experiments will highlight the team’s unique experimental capabilities and for expanded research efforts involving a broader study of tribocharging and charged-particle-laden gas flows funded by NASA and other agencies.

The goal of the Space@Hopkins Seed Grant program is to provide seed funding for civilian space related projects at Johns Hopkins that: (1) are relevant to Space@Hopkins and JHU institutional research priorities, (2) provide undergraduate research opportunities, (3) have excellent prospects for leading to successful external research support.

For more information on the Space@Hopkins Seed Grant program, click here.

HEMI Graduate Student Cristina Martin-Linares Wins Prestigious ”la Caixa” Fellowship

Cristina Martin-Linares, a member of HEMI and mechanical engineering PhD candidate at Johns Hopkins University, has been awarded the prestigious ”la Caixa” Fellowship

Awarded by ”la Caixa” Foundation and personally handed over by the King of Spain in an official ceremony, the ”la Caixa” Fellowship, conferred since 1982, is considered the most important in Spain and one of the most prestigious in Europe. The award recognizes the fellows for both their academic achievements and leadership, and for their high potential.

The Foundation awarded 45 fellowships in 2019 for graduate studies in the United States or Canada. Martin-Linares was the recipient of one of the 11 fellowships in Science and Engineering, in any PhD program of her choosing, after a competitive selection process. The applicants are evaluated and interviewed by committees formed by university professors of the corresponding field from different institutions in the world. The potential of the candidate, academic and professional achievements, innovation, motivation, originality, independence, leadership, the impact of the proposed idea, and communication/clarity of exposition, are among the academic and interpersonal skills used to judge the merit of the applicant.

Martin-Linares is a rising fourth-year doctoral candidate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. She started her PhD in 2017 with a Departmental Fellowship, and until 2020 was a student under the supervision of Thao (Vicky) Nguyen, where she led innovative research on the constitutive modeling and mechanics of viscoelasticity and energy dissipation in Liquid Crystal Elastomers. Her research has been experimental, computational, and theoretical. Currently, Martin-Linares is advised by Gretar Tryggvason, Department Head and Charles Miller Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Yannis Kevrekidis, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.

The fellowship will support Cristina Martin-Linares as she continues to pursue research on the modeling of dynamical and multiscale systems using machine learning techniques and mathematical modeling.

“The ”la Caixa” Fellowship will continue to fund my PhD and gives me the freedom to do research in any topic of my interest,” said Martin-Linares. “I love physics and mathematical modeling. I think that I am working in an exciting and emerging field using creative ways to model physics. I am also very interested in developing these ideas in biology.”

Beyond her research, Martin-Linares participates as Vice President of the Mechanical Engineering Graduate Association (MEGA) and is a representative of the Graduate Representative Organization (GRO). She mentors students and is especially passionate about participating in activities that empower women and other minorities in STEM.

Since 2015, King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain have presided over the official ceremony and award the certificate to each of the recipients. Also in attendance are the Ministers of Education and Economy and other personalities, and the families of the awardees.

Due to the exceptional circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ceremony has been postponed and the new date is yet to be determined.

Originally from Almería, a city in Spain, Martin-Linares, in addition to winning the prestigious ”la Caixa” fellowship, has been named a 2020 finalist for the XII Prize ‘Andaluces del Futuro’ (Andalusians of the Future), in the Science category, given to outstanding young Andalusians scientists.  Her plan in the future is to continue in academia.

Cristina Martin-Linares

Cristina Martin-Linares with Latrobe Hall, home to the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, in the background.

This article originally appeared on the Department of Mechanical Engineering website.

HEMI Fellow Sung Hoon Kang Receives Cohen Fund Grant for Work on a 3D-printed Medical Device

Congratulations to Sung Hoon Kang, HEMI Fellow and assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, on being named a recipient of funding from the Cohen Translational Engineering Fund for a project to develop a 3D-printed medical device that simplifies a complicated surgical procedure.

Established through a generous multi-year gift from the Neil Cohen ’83 and his wife, Sherry, the Cohen Translational Engineering Fund provides up to $200,000 seed funding to support the initial stage of innovation that moves research out of the laboratory, including the development of new WSE patents, and a range of critical needs — from materials and supplies to graduate student stipends and tuition.

Kang’s project titled, “Vaso-Lock: A 3D Printed Coupling Device for Microvascular Anastomosis,” addresses microvascular anastomosis, a highly specialized surgical technique of hand-sewing together blood vessels in plastic and reconstructive surgery. While a common procedure, it requires years of training and practice, and hours to complete in the operating room. Kang, working with a team of vascular and microvascular plastic surgeons, used 3D printing to create Vaso-Lock, which holds together free vascular ends instead of requiring stitches. The stent is made from materials approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and it is biocompatible.

By simplifying a complex surgical technique, the inventors hope to reduce operative time while allowing for more vessel coupling during the procedure, improve patient outcomes and safety, and make microvascular and vascular anastomosis more globally available.

Kang was one of two faculty members from the Whiting School of Engineering to receive funding this year. Since its inception six years ago, the Cohen fund has granted nearly $1 million for 24 projects. This year, the fund changed its grant cycle to an annual award, raised the maximum application budget to $100,000 and increased the project length to nine months.

Click here to learn more about Kang’s project and the Cohen fund.

HEMI Senior Budget Analyst Andrew Proulx Receives 2020 WSE Staff Excellence Award


Congratulations to Andrew Proulx, Senior Grants and Contract Analyst for HEMI, on receiving a Whiting School of Engineering Staff Excellence Award!

Each year, the Whiting School of Engineering gathers together to honor staff members who have demonstrate outstanding achievement or innovation and contribute to their departmental/center/institute, WSE, or JHU, beyond the scope of their position. Nomination criteria include:

  • Contribute to exceptional productivity or major process improvements.
  • Provide exceptional customer service to members of the university community.
  • Motivate and inspire the people around them.
  • Show outstanding leadership, professionalism, and/or initiative.

Andrew was one of three recipients in the Excellence category. His guidance and professionalism was key in managing the submission (and subsequent award) of a ~$50M research consortium that includes 18 institutions and 40 PIs. Prof. Tim Weihs, the lead PI for this proposal, states, “Andrew communicated with all 17 external institutions and the 40 PIs in the consortium, collecting budgetary information from each of them. He drafted clear and thoughtful emails, and he handled these interactions in a stellar, professional manner. Throughout these efforts, he was incredibly efficient and strategic, making critical suggestions that enhanced our proposal and made it successful. His efforts far exceeded our standard of performance within WSE.”

In addition to this project, Andrew continued being the trusted resource within the HEMI office that many people look to for help or guidance. Finally, he seamlessly managed 39 subawards which includes establishing accounts, monthly invoicing, and subrecipient monitoring, showcasing his talent not only to members within the Whiting School, but to other organizations as well. As HEMI Executive Program Director Dr. Victor Nakano says, “When a HEMI faculty member wants to submit a proposal, their first choice is Andrew. He is well respected for his calm demeanor and dependability.”