HEMI fellow Paulette Clancy to be appointed Edward J. Schaefer Professor in Engineering

Paulette Clancy will be appointed the Edward J. Schaefer Professor in Engineering as of July 1.

Clancy, who serves as department head and professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, is a HEMI fellow specializing in computational materials processing. Her research group studies advanced organic materials, algorithm development, machine learning, and renewable energy materials. Clancy is also the director of research (discovery and inquiry) for Johns Hopkins AI-X Foundry and associate director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Integrated Structure-Mechanical Modeling and Simulation (CISMMS).

The Edward J. Schaefer Professorship in Engineering was endowed by Edward J. Schaefer ’23 and his wife, Hildegarde Schaefer. He was instrumental in opening a discrete school of engineering at the university.

Thomas Gernay receives National Science Foundation’s Early CAREER Award

Thomas Gernay, assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Systems Engineering, has been honored with the National Science Foundation’s Early CAREER Award.

This award recognizes early-career researchers who have demonstrated a significant level of promise and excellence.

Thomas is the founder and leader of the Multi-Hazard Resilient Structures research group at Johns Hopkins. Thomas has been developing innovative means to advance the resilience of the built environment against fire. His pioneering project, titled “Performance-Based Fire Design for Cold-Formed Steel Structures,” has received a five-year grant that will enable more precise modeling of the effects of fire on cold-formed steel structures.

This project will revolutionize our understanding of the field of fire design and materials science.


HEMI launches the Center on Artificial Intelligence for Materials in Extreme Environments

The Johns Hopkins University announces the establishment of the Center on Artificial Intelligence for Materials in Extreme Environments (CAIMEE), a new center within the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute dedicated to the development of new materials and structures for use in extreme environments through the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Materials in extreme environments present numerous research challenges that CAIMEE aims to solve by leveraging robotics, novel experimentation, accelerated computational models, and data-driven design iterations. Directed by Lori Graham-Brady, associate director of HEMI and professor in the Department of Civil and Systems Engineering, CAIMEE brings together 12 PIs and collaborators from several institutions to overcome these barriers. Jaafar El-Awady, a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, will serve as CAIMEE’s co-director.

The center has a mission of enabling the development of materials with properties tailored for sustainable performance in extreme environments like those encountered by the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. According to the announcement from Dean Ed Schlesinger, the new tools and technologies to be employed by CAIMEE researchers will revolutionize the way materials design decisions are made and will provide comprehensive data and information for sustainable materials development in extreme environments.

This new center is a significant development in the field of research and will have a direct impact on the development of essential materials for critical applications. It is expected that CAIMEE’s work will significantly contribute to the growth of innovations and discoveries that will help governments and industries tackle critical problems.

Sabine Stanley named next vice provost for graduate and professional education

HEMI Fellow Sabine Stanley, a planetary physicist whose research aims to answer fundamental questions about the nature and interior structure of planets in our solar system and beyond, has been named vice provost of graduate and professional education at Johns Hopkins University.

“We are fortunate to be able to call on someone with Sabine’s leadership and administrative experience to build on the great foundation that Nancy has created,” said Provost Sunil Kumar.

Sabine is passionate about graduate and postdoctoral training and has extensive experience in teaching and mentoring students.

Stanley joined the university in 2017 as a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor in the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences at JHU’s Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and in the Space Exploration Sector of the Applied Physics Lab. She is a renowned physicist whose work focuses on planetary magnetic fields, dynamo theory, and planetary interiors and evolution.

Stanley received a BSc degree in physics and astronomy from the University of Toronto and MA and PhD degrees in geophysics from Harvard. She will assume her provost’s office role beginning May 1.

“I’m excited to take on this role and work with the provost’s office and all the schools to support our graduate student and postdoctoral training missions,” said Stanley.

Portions of this article was excerpted from The Hub. You can view the full story here. 


HEMI APL Seed Grants Awarded

The Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute (HEMI) and the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (JHUAPL) Research and Exploratory Development (RED) mission area have awarded two, $50,000 seed grants. These seed grants promote pioneering research and collaboration between HEMI and JHUAPL RED.

Paulette Clancy, professor, and head of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, teamed with Nam Le, staff scientist at JHUAPL RED, on a project titled, “Towards Proton Radiation-Resistant Perovskite Solar Cell Materials for Space Applications.” The goal of the project is to understand what defects are formed when energetic particles interact with metal halide perovskites (MHPs), as these can lead to performance degradation and thus limit the viability of these promising solar cells. Their low cost, lightweight, and simple manufacturing process make them an ideal candidate for in-space manufacturing goals of future space missions.

The second seed grant is awarded to the team of Jaafar El-Awady, professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Christopher Stiles, senior staff scientist in JHUAPL RED. Their project is titled, “Developing a Multiscale/Multiphysics Framework to Support the Ecofriendly Mitigation of Ice Loss from the Arctic and Greenland Glaciers and Icesheets.” The project’s objectives are to create a mechanistic-based multiscale computational framework that can predict the mechanics of ice deformation under creep loading, as well as the effect of ice nucleation proteins on the structure and mechanical properties of the formed ice. This study could result in an environmentally friendly framework for mitigating ice mass loss in Greenland and Antarctica.


HEMI Fellows awarded DURIP grants

Ryan Hurley, assistant professor in the Whiting School of Engineering’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Kit Bowen, the E. Emmet Reid Professor of Chemistry in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, were awarded Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) grants. DURIP enables university faculty to procure major equipment needed to perform cutting-edge foundational science research relevant to national defense.

Hurley will use his grant to obtain equipment needed to build an extreme-pressure triaxial compression apparatus. This will enable his research group to conduct in-situ studies of geomaterial deformation mechanisms. Bowen’s grant will support his work exploring the role of cluster reactivity in destroying chemical warfare agents.

The Department of Defense awarded a total of $59 million to 147 university researchers under DURIP. More than 500 proposals were submitted, resulting in a highly competitive selection process. DURIP is jointly administered by the Army Research Office, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the Office of Naval Research through a merit competition.

HEMI – APL A&MD grant seed award

James Spicer, professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and HEMI staff engineers Matt Shaeffer and Justin Moreno, have been awarded $50,000 HEMI–APL Air and Missile Defense (A&MD) seed grants.  

Spicer teamed with A&MD materials scientists Yo-Rhin Rhim and Dajie Zhang on a proposal titled “Photo-assisted processing of micro-structured ultra-high-temperature-ceramics.” Their seed grant will be used to investigate the feasibility of fabricating dense carbide coatings for environmental barrier applications using gas-solid reaction-based processes. They will also look into cellular carbide microstructures for thermal management under extreme conditions. 

Shaeffer and Moreno will support David Brown of A&MD in a seed grant project titled, “Hypersonic impact studies of large particles.” They will explore the resultant phenomena of particles 50 to 100 micrometers in diameter moving at hypersonic velocities colliding with a metal target using real-time diagnostics. To achieve these velocities, the team will utilize HEMI’s hypervelocity facility for impact research experiments (HyFIRE). The HyFIRE diagnostic equipment will enable them to determine the critical failure mechanisms and how the material behaves under these extreme impact conditions. 

The HEMI – APL A&MD seed grants program is jointly funded by the Whiting School of Engineering and the Applied Physics Laboratory.  

Susanna Thon appointed marshal salant faculty scholar

HEMI Fellow Susanna Thon, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has been appointed as the Marshal Salant Faculty Scholar. 

The Marshal Salant Faculty Scholar was established by Marshal Salant `80, university trustee and the managing director and global head of Alternative Energy Financing at Citigroup, a multinational investment bank and financial services corporation. 

Thon and her research group at the NanoEnergy Laboratory study nanomaterials engineering for optoelectronic devices with a focus on solar energy conversion and sensing. Her work applies techniques from nanophotonics and scalable fabrication to produce devices and materials with novel optical and electrical functionality. Insights from Thon’s research on photovoltaics are helping to push the boundaries of efficiency and cost-effectiveness using flexible platforms and new materials.  

Thon and her colleagues have recently developed new materials-based methods to increase the power output of next-generation solar cells, as well as a new multimodal characterization technique to accelerate technology development. 

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HEMI Fellows awarded best papers at MS&T conference

Lori Graham-Brady, HEMI associate director and professor in the Department of Civil and Systems Engineering and KT Ramesh, the Alonzo G. Decker Professor of Science and Engineering and director of HEMI, were awarded best papers by the Journal of the American Ceramic Society. On October 11, 2022, their winning papers were presented at a special awards symposium at the Materials Science and Technology Technical Meeting and Exhibition in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.   

Graham-Brady’s paper is titled, “Fragmentation and Granular Transition of Ceramics for High Rate Loading,” and included co-authors Amartya Bhattacharjee and Ryan Hurley of Johns Hopkins University. 

“Models for the Behavior of Boron Carbide in Extreme Dynamic Environments,” is the title of K.T. Ramesh’s winning paper. Co-authors included: Lori Graham-Brady, Ryan Hurley, Mark Robbins, Amartya Bhattacharjee, Qinglei Zeng, Weixin Li, and Nilanjan Mitra from Johns Hopkins University; William Goddard, California Institute of Technology; Andrew Tonge, DEVCOM Army Research Laboratory; Joel Clemmer, Sandia National Laboratories; and Qi An, University of Nevada, Reno. 

Both papers were the result of research conducted in the Center for Materials in Extreme Dynamic Environments(CMEDE), a center within the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute. Funded by the DEVCOM Army Research Laboratory, CMEDE research has developed a materials-by-design process for protection materials which have military armor applications.