HEMI graduate student Suhas Eswarappa Prameela receives 2021 Inphi Scholarship in Physics and Engineering

Suhas Eswarappa Prameela, graduate student in the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, has been named recipient of the 2021 Inphi Scholarship in Physics and Engineering.

The scholarship, awarded by Out To Innovate and the InPhi corporation, is intended for LGBTQ+ undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) programs. The scholarships are designed to promote academic excellence and increased visibility of talented LGBTQ+ students in STEM careers.

“I am thrilled to receive the 2021 InPhi Scholarship and very happy to be recognized for my academic work, diversity and inclusion efforts. Thanks to InPhi and Out to Innovate for continuing to promote and bring visibility to LGBTQ+ students in STEM. I am humbled to receive this award along with many other talented and hard-working individuals.”

Justin Moreno and Scott McGhee Receive 2021 Whiting School of Engineering Staff Excellence Awards

HEMI is pleased to announce that team members Justin Moreno and Scott McGhee were selected as winners of 2021 Whiting School of Engineering Staff Excellence Awards. Justin won in the Rookie of the Year category and Scott won the inaugural Leadership Award.

Justin joined the HEMI team in 2020 as an associate staff engineer.  He came to us after working with Survice Engineering and the CCDC Army Research Laboratory doing neuroscience research on sleep and motor control. He currently helps manage research laboratories at HEMI – specifically the Hypervelocity Facility for Impact Research Experiments (HyFIRE) and laser shock facilities.

Scott has been at Johns Hopkins since 2004. He worked in the Department of Chemistry before joining HEMI in 2013. As senior administrative manager, Scott oversees the HEMI staff and ensures the HEMI operations run smoothly.

The Staff Excellence Awards provide the members of the Whiting School of Engineering an opportunity to recognize the hardworking and talented staff who advance WSE’s mission, who demonstrate superior leadership, and who motivate and inspire those around them.

View the full list of awardees.


Inaugural Winners of the Mark O. Robbins Prize in High Performance Computing and the Robbins Future Faculty Award Announced

Established last year to recognize outstanding performance by doctoral and post-doctoral students in high-performance computing, the awards honor the legacy of renowned condensed matter and statistical physicist Mark O. Robbins, who died in 2020. A professor in Hopkins’ Department of Physics and Astronomy for more than three decades, Mark played a key role in supporting the development of computational facilities at JHU and was associate director of the Institute for Data Intensive Engineering and Science.

Winners of the Mark O. Robbins Prize in High Performance Computing are Karthik Menon, a doctoral candidate and member of Rajat Mittal’s lab in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Andrew Ruttinger, a doctoral candidate and a member of Paulette Clancy’s lab in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Karthik’s research focuses on the development of computational and data-driven techniques to study the interaction of fluids with flexible and moving surfaces within liquid flows. Andrew’s focuses on using computational modeling to develop insight into quantum dot photovoltaics, lithium extraction from low-concentration sources, and the development of thermal energy storage.

Winner of the Robbins Future Faculty Award, post-doc Sai Pooja Mahajan focuses on developing and applying computational techniques aimed at solving complex problems in computational lithography and computational protein structure and function design. She is a member of Jeffrey Gray’s lab in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.

In addition to receiving a plaque and cash prize, all three winners will be invited to present their work at a virtual High Performance Computing symposium to be held in August.

The Robbins’ Prize is made possible thanks to generous donations from Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute (HEMI), The Institute for Data Intensive Engineering and Science (IDIES), Department of Mechanical Engineering, and the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

HEMI Fellow Ryan Hurley Receives Mentor of the Year Award from the U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program

Ryan Hurley, HEMI Fellow and assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, has received the annual Mentor of the Year award from the U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP).

The award is presented to a mentor within one of the AEOP apprenticeship programs who goes beyond the call of duty to support students in their STEM educations and career pursuits. Hurley has been recognized for his dedication to challenging his students to “think and work like engineers. [During a remote apprenticeship, he] went above and beyond to overcome the challenges and make it a positive, transformative experience for his mentees. In addition to being dedicated to the growth and development of his mentees, he has sought to spread the word about AEOP and encourage other scientists and engineers to become mentors as well.” View the full award ceremony.

Hurley was selected from over 450 mentors from U.S. Army research laboratories, centers, and universities across the United States who hosted AEOP apprentices in 2020. He mentored a student who expanded his Materials in Extreme Dynamic Environments (MEDE) ceramic materials research.  The student employed machine learning to investigate particle micromechanics in granular materials and develop a model to predict particle rearrangements.  Due to COVID-19, the apprenticeship was conducted remotely.

Hurley’s research group develops and uses novel experiments and numerical models to study the mechanical behavior and failure mechanisms of granular materials, rocks, concrete, and ceramics. His group is a frequent user of synchrotron X-ray facilities around the world, at which they seek to see and understand deformation mechanisms in materials at the smallest length and time scales.

The AEOP is run by the U.S. Army and aims to provide students and teachers with STEM programs to promote STEM subjects and nurture STEM talents from kindergarten through college. Learn more about AEOP and its programs.

Ryan Hurley AEOP award 2021

HEMI Fellow Somnath Ghosh has received a 2021 J. Tinsley Oden Medal from the U.S. Association for Computational Mechanics

Somnath Ghosh – HEMI Fellow, director of the Computational Mechanics Research Laboratory, and M. G. Callas Chair Professor in the Department of Civil and Systems Engineering at Johns Hopkins University – has received a 2021 J. Tinsley Oden Medal from the U.S. Association for Computational Mechanics.

The medal is awarded in recognition of outstanding and sustained contributions to computational science, engineering, and mathematics. Ghosh has been recognized for “outstanding fundamental contributions to computational mechanics of materials through the development of innovative methodologies in spatio-temporal multi-scale modeling of heterogeneous materials transcending the mechanics and materials communities.”

His research focuses on computational mechanics with a focus on materials modeling, multi-scale structure-materials analysis and simulations, multi-physics modeling and simulation of multi-functional materials, materials characterization, process modeling, and emerging fields like Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME).

Learn more about the J. Tinsley Oden Medal from the U.S. Association for Computational Mechanics here.

HEMI Fellow Sung Hoon Kang Selected for 2021 U.S. Air Force Research Lab Summer Faculty Fellowship

Sung Hoon Kang, HEMI Fellow, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and associate researcher at the Institute for NanoBioTechnology, has been selected as a fellow for the 2021 U.S. Air Force Research Lab Summer Faculty Fellowship Program.

The U.S. Air Force Research Lab Summer Faculty Fellowship provides hands-on exposure to Air Force research challenges through 8- to 12-week research residencies at participating Air Force research facilities for full-time science, mathematics, and engineering faculties at U.S. colleges and universities. Kang plans to spend eight weeks at the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) in Dayton, Ohio this summer. He will work with AFRL researchers to design and fabricate programmable aerospace structures that can morph to various shapes in response to dynamically changing mission environments in energy-efficient ways.

Kang’s AFRL project fits in well with his existing research portfolio. Kang and his group study how to control a material’s structure and properties at the nano/micro/macro level in order to develop next-generation materials and mechanical systems. His lab is working on projects including one to identify synthetic pathways for making multifunctional materials with self-adaptable mechanical properties and self-regeneration, which has potential applications to the design and manufacture of new aerospace and biomaterials.

Learn more about the fellowship program here.

Prof. Sung Hoon Kang

HEMI Fellow Susanna Thon Featured in Optics and Photonics News

Susanna Thon, HEMI Fellow and associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has been featured in the Optics and Photonics News in a Q&A about her work, career, and lessons learned.

In the feature, Thon speaks to her passion for mentoring others and emphasizes the importance of networking, communication, and leadership skills for career development. She also provides advice to young scientists who are discouraged about their current career path, shares information she wishes she had early on in her career, and discusses what she has learned through mentorship: as both a mentor and a mentee.

Optics and Photonics News is The Optical Society’s monthly news magazine. It provides in-depth coverage of recent developments in the field of optics, as well as informative pieces on topics from science and society to business. OPN strives to make optics accessible to researchers, engineers, businesspeople and students.

Thon’s work applies techniques from nanophotonics and scalable fabrication to produce devices and materials with novel optical and electrical functionality. Her team is currently working on a number of projects, including the development of plasmonic-photocatalytic systems that use nanoparticles containing aluminum to enhance light absorption in titanium dioxide. Team members are also researching ways to use nanostructured materials, such as colloidal quantum dots and plasmonic metal nanoparticles, to build multicolored, transparent, and next-generation devices.

Read her full Q&A here.

HEMI Graduate Student Suhas Eswarappa Prameela Featured in Science Working Life

Suhas Eswarappa Prameela, a graduate student in HEMI, has been featured in Science Magazine’s Working Life section with an essay about finding his voice on Twitter.

His essay describes how he found value in sharing his experiences on the science side of Twitter. In the beginning, he only tweeted about his research results. One day, out of frustration, he tweeted about the “importance of properly naming research files.” Prameela was retweeted by a high-profile academic account and went viral overnight.

Prameela initially had apprehensions about sharing his experiences online. He said, “Who was I to offer advice? I’m just a PhD student doing my best; I didn’t know whether I was doing anything right myself!” However, after falling into his new-found Twitter fame, he began tweeting regularly about his personal experiences as a PhD student: from navigating authorship conflicts to giving presentations and more.

As a result of his efforts, other students on Twitter have reached out to him, thanking him for his tweets and asking questions. Prameela says that although sometimes he feels “uncomfortable and vulnerable sharing my experiences on a massive global platform, I’ve found it is well worth it. I’ve learned that we are all stronger if we authentically share and connect with one another.”

Science Magazine’s Working Life section features articles that discuss the professional side of science and research, with topics ranging from mentorship to mental health struggles and more. Click here to read the full text of Prameela’s essay.

You can follow Prameela on Twitter (@suhas_prameela) here.

HEMI Fellow Sung Hoon Kang Receives Grant from Bisciotti Foundation Translational Fund

Sung Hoon Kang, HEMI Fellow, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and associate researcher at the Institute for NanoBioTechnology, has received a grant from the Bisciotti Foundation Translational Fund. The grant funds will go toward developing a 3D-printed medical device that simplifies a complicated vascular procedure.

Established with a generous multiyear gift from the Stephen and Renee Bisciotti Foundation, the fund provides $300,000 annually in seed money to advance Johns Hopkins discoveries on a commercial path. Recipients are awarded from $25,000 and $100,000 to conduct their work during a period of up to nine months. For this year’s funding round, 26 applications were submitted. Six finalists presented their work in late January to an outside panel of researchers, other scientists, and investors.

Kang was one of four faculty members to receive a grant for his project “Vaso-Lock: Replacing Sutures for Faster, Easier, and Safer Microvascular and Vascular Anastomosis.”

Microvascular and vascular anastomosis are highly specialized surgical techniques of hand-sewing together blood vessels during plastic and reconstructive surgery along with many other surgical procedures. While common procedures, they require years of training and practice, and hours to complete in the operating room. Kang, working with a team of vascular and plastic surgeons, used 3D printing to prototype Vaso-Lock, which holds together free vascular ends instead of requiring stitches. The device 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 operating time while allowing more vessel coupling during the procedure. The researchers also want to improve patient outcomes and safety, and make microvascular and vascular anastomosis more globally available.

The Vaso-Lock team have also received funding from the Cohen Translational Engineering Fund and the Maryland Innovation Initiative (MII). They participated in the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps program, during which they interviewed 40 surgeons, specialized operating room staff members, and industry workers to identify anastomosis challenges and help refine their business plan.

The team plans to launch a startup to commercialize the innovation.

Excerpted from the Hub >>

Prof. Sung Hoon Kang