Announcing the 2022 HEMI Seed Grant Awardees

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2022 HEMI Seed Grants: Prof. Yayuan Liu, Dr. Chao He, and Prof. Dimitris Giovanis!

Liu is an an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and an associate faculty member in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Her accepted proposal is titled “Designing Vascularized Porous Electrodes with Enhanced Ion Transport for Battery Extreme Fast Charging.”

He is an associate research scientist in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. His accepted proposal is titled “Spectral signature of prebiotic molecules in Titan’s surface materials.”

Giovanis is an assistant research professor in the Department of Civil and Systems Engineering and Fellow within HEMI. His accepted proposal is titled “Data Driven Uncertainty Quantification for Energetic Materials.”

Each HEMI Seed Grant awards $25,000 to each recipient for the effective award period of September 1, 2022 to August 31, 2023. They are given each year to fund research in fundamental science associated with materials and structures under extreme conditions. All faculty and researchers at the Johns Hopkins University, as well as Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) staff, who can serve as Principal and Co-Investigators are eligible to apply. Learn more about the program here.

HEMI Fellow Somnath Ghosh awarded ASCE’s Raymond D. Mindlin Medal

Somnath Ghosh, HEMI Fellow and Michael G. Callas Chair Professor in the Department of Civil and Systems Engineering, has been awarded the 2022 Raymond D. Mindlin Medal by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Given annually, this medal recognizes an individual’s outstanding research contributions to applied solid mechanics.

Somnath was honored for “outstanding novel contributions to the field of computational mechanics of materials through development of fundamental concepts in spatio-temporal multi-scale, multi-physics modeling of metals, composites and multi-functional materials, and bridging the mechanics and materials communities through strong interdisciplinary leadership.”

Somnath’s research focuses on computational engineering and sciences integrating computational mechanics, computational materials science, and integrated computational materials engineering, with an emphasis on multiscale multi-physics modeling, materials characterization, machine learning, and uncertainty quantification.

He has been invited to accept this award in person at ASCE’s annual Engineering Mechanics Institute Conference, to be held in Baltimore from May 31 through June 3.

Tamer Zaki and Jochen Mueller named HEMI Fellows

Prof. Tamer Zaki and Assistant Prof. Jochen Mueller have been appointed as two of the newest HEMI Fellows.

Zaki is currently a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He is a winner of the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, is recognized for his innovative theoretical and engineering solutions to technological and environmental challenges created when turbulence meets momentum, heat, and mass.

His work offers novel applications for hydro and aero-dynamics, turbo-machinery, heat transfer, materials processing, and medical interventions with inhaled drug delivery. His research and the work of his lab, Johns Hopkins’ Flow Science and Engineering (FSE), address a classic, complex mechanics problem: Infinitesimal disturbances can cause organized fluid motion to become chaotic.

Mueller is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Systems Engineering. His research combines additive manufacturing, functional materials, and computational design in order to create programmable matter.

His research lives at the intersection of science, application and design. Developing novel fabrication processes to enhance the structural complexity, material versatility, and throughput speed in 3D printing, Mueller’s Laboratory for Digital Fabrication and Programmable Matter combines the fabrication processes with computational tools to create or manipulate existing materials and structures in order to change their properties and improve their performance. Mueller’s hands-on background in the aerospace and automotive industries allows him to pursue research projects that have real-world applications, improving materials used in everything from prosthetic devices to lightweight structures.

2021 AEOP Apprentices Showcase Their Gained Knowledge in Extreme Science During Final Presentations

Earlier this month, four students from high schools around the state of Maryland presented the results of their summer Apprenticeship Program  virtually to an audience of  friends, family, mentors, HEMI Fellows, and representatives from the U. S. Army – Dr. Sikhanda Satapathy (Collaborative Alliance Manager for MEDE CRA) and Mr. Brian Leftridge (U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command).

Adesola Adelegan, Nahuel Albayrak, Kathy Ho, and Emma Liu each were paired with a HEMI Fellow and student mentor to complete their six-week project. During the presentations, each student summarized their research experience, answered questions, and were virtually awarded with a certificate of completion.

During the course of the presentations, HEMI Fellow hosts and mentors had a chance to reflect on each student’s accomplishments. Across the board, the students were lauded for their work ethic and ability to grasp high-level concepts.

“I’m ready to offer her a graduate position,” said Jaafar El-Awady, HEMI Fellow and associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, when speaking about his group’s intern, Kathy Ho. “She’s done such great, high-level work.”

Echoing Prof. El-Awady’s sentiments was Mitra Taheri, HEMI Fellow and professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, about her group’s intern, Emma Liu. “Emma is underplaying her role in this project. Her research has moved us forward in the state-of-the-art.”

These apprenticeships, sponsored by the Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP), allows students to gain valuable research experience before attending college. With over 40 sites from which to choose, Johns Hopkins ranks as a very competitive location. Johns Hopkins University received 185 applications for four positions this year.

Somnath Ghosh named Fellow of The Mineral, Metals, and Materials Society

HEMI is pleased to congratulate 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 – for being named a Fellow of The Mineral, Metals, and Materials Society (TMS).

Ghosh’s research is 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).

Fellows of TMS are recognized for their outstanding contributions to the practice of metallurgy, materials science, and technology; Fellows must have been members of TMS for at least five continuous years prior to receiving the award.

Learn more about The Mineral, Metals, and Materials Society’s Fellow Award here.

HEMI Fellow Thomas Gernay Investigates Construction Applications for New Steels

Using funding from both a HEMI Seed Grant and the National Science Foundation, Thomas Gernay, HEMI Fellow and assistant professor in the Department of Civil Systems and Engineering, and colleague Benjamin Schafer, professor in the same department, are investigating if four new types of high-performance steels used in car parts can be cross-functionally used to construct more resilient and sustainable buildings.

The new steels, developed by the automotive industry and used in car bumpers and the steel cage that protects occupants in a crash, improve car handling and fuel efficiency. They are four times stronger than the steel commonly used today, but they are also more expensive to manufacture. Figuring out how to use these steels efficiently in buildings is a priority and a situation that Schafer and Gernay are trying to address.

Gernay and Schafer compiled a comprehensive data set that provides insight into the steels and how they behave under different conditions. Gernay and his team, experts in fire resiliency, tested the steels to gauge their responses to stress, strain, and high temperatures. Schafer’s research centered on the steels’ properties when formed into shapes optimized and appropriate for building construction.

They are currently entering the materials’ temperature data into Gernay’s SAFIR software, which models the behavior of building structures related to fire. Upon completion, the data and hypothetical scenarios will be available for industry use to compare different steels and determine the best material for individual projects.

Learn more about this research here.  

Thomas Gernay portrait 2019

Pictured: Gernay (left) and Schafer (right)



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 Fellow Michael Shields Receives DOE Early Career Award

HEMI Fellow Michael Shields (assistant professor, Dept. of Civil Engineering) has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science to receive a five-year grant under the agency’s Early Career Research Program.

Shields’ project, titled, “Low-dimensional Manifold Learning for Uncertainty Quantification in Complex Multi-scale Stochastic Systems” leverages large-scale so-called dimension hyper-reduction methods to enable uncertainty quantification for complex multi-scale systems. The advanced modeling approach is likely to be more computationally manageable than conventional methods, allowing for potentially significant impacts in far-ranging fields from computer vision, to language processing, data analysis/machine learning and clustering, and complex networks such as infrastructure and/or communication systems because they afford a fundamental ability to learn from the intrinsic structure of high-dimensional data on the Grassmannian, which is widely recognized as important in these fields. The research developments proposed will also lead to advanced software solutions such as the UQpy open-source Python toolbox for large-scale uncertainty quantification in multiscale stochastic systems.

The DOE Early Career Research Program, now in its tenth year, is designed to bolster the nation’s scientific workforce by providing support to exceptional researchers during the crucial early career years, when many scientists do their most formative work. To learn more about the award and view information from the other 2019 awardees, click here.

This is Shields’ third young investigator award. He is also the recipient of the National Science Foundation Early CAREER Award and the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award.

Profs. Thomas Gernay and Daniel Viete Selected as 2019 HEMI Seed Grant Awardees

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2019 HEMI Seed Grants, Prof. Thomas Gernay and Prof. Daniel Viete!

Gernay is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil Engineering. His research interests include structural fire engineering, performance-based structural design, computational mechanics, and community resilience assessment. He received the grant for his project, “Modeling Ductile Fracture in Metals under Extreme Temperatures with Application to Structural Fire Computations.”

Viete is an assistant professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, with research interests in metamorphic petrology, tectonics, structural geology, and rock mechanics. The seed grant will fund his project, “Planetary-scale fracture propagation.”

The HEMI Seed Grants are given each year to fund research in fundamental science associated with materials and structures under extreme conditions. All faculty and researchers at the Johns Hopkins University, as well as Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) Staff, who can serve as Principal and Co-Investigators are eligible to apply. Learn more about the program here