Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Materials in Extreme Dynamic Environments (CMEDE), part of the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute (HEMI), recently completed its 10-year program. Over the past decade, CMEDE was responsible for critically important advances in the development of improved protection materials and design codes/tools for armor applications and served as a model of leadership in collaborative research between academia, industry, and government. It was a model collaborative research alliance for the U.S. Army and an exemplar of a team approach to science and discovery for the U.S. Department of Defense.
CMEDE launched in 2012 through an $85.5 million grant from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory and operated a productive and far-reaching research program that encompassed 25 international universities and research partners, all focused on integrated experimental, computational, and synthesis/processing research activities.
In all of its activities, central to CMEDE has been its commitment to making an impact. One of the unique aspects of CMEDE is their material-by-design process, which involves a canonical model and mechanism-based strategy for each of the materials classes they focused on: Ceramics (boron carbide), Composites (S-2 glass/epoxy), and Metals (magnesium). The canonical model allows a large group of researchers to ensure that efforts are relevant in terms of both science and application, and the mechanism-based strategy enables the establishment of validated models and codes, which can then be integrated into Department of Defense and Department of Energy codes.
The CMEDE also made an impact on advancing knowledge and sharing their findings, both through events and publications. Over the course of its existence, CMEDE researchers published approximately 500 journal articles, which garnered more than 8,000 citations. And CMEDE also has made a significant impact by helping prepare the next generation of engineers and scientists. The center supported 113 PhD students and 66 postdoctoral fellows and provided internships to 213 undergraduates, including 62 students from HBCUs and MSIs. Within Johns Hopkins Engineering, CMEDE served as a model for the launch of new research directions and new centers within HEMI, such as Materials Science for Extreme Environments (MSEE).