Skip to Main Content

CMEDE Partners with CoorsTek to Fabricate Armor Materials

The Center for Materials in Extreme Dynamic Environments (CMEDE) has partnered with CoorsTek, a manufacturer of technical ceramics, to develop advanced ceramic materials for military armor applications.

Due to its potential for improvements in ballistic performance for soldier protection at very low weight, boron carbide was studied as a model material in CMEDE.  CMEDE researchers worked in close collaboration with researchers at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory and Rutgers University to enhance our understanding of boron carbide in order to develop new formulations and processing routes for this material. These new formulations have shown significant improvements in key properties like hardness, strength, and toughness. Partnering with CoorsTek allowed CMEDE to scale-up from creating laboratory-sized specimens to industrial-sized plates.

Prof. Lori Graham-Brady, director of CMEDE, says this partnership is critical.  “The partnership between CMEDE and CoorsTek demonstrates a major transition. With the ability to create and test new materials at a large scale, we can further improve upon ceramic materials that will protect our military and save soldiers’ lives.”

U.S. Army soldier in tan and green fatigues holding ceramic plate used in body armor

Ryan Hurley (JHU) receives Mentor of the Year award from the U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program

Ryan Hurley, CMEDE PI 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 Mentor of the Year Award 2021

Prof. Lori Graham-Brady Appointed Director of CMEDE

Congratulations to Professor Lori Graham-Brady, associate director of  the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute (HEMI) and chair of the Department of Civil and Systems Engineering, for her appointment as director of the Center for Materials in Extreme Dynamic Environments (CMEDE)! Previously the associate director of the center, she assumes the duties performed by Professor K. T. Ramesh, who will now serve as associate director.

Graham-Brady is Department Chair and a professor in the Civil Engineering Department at Johns Hopkins University, with a secondary appointment in Mechanical Engineering. She is a is a leading global researcher in the field of computational stochastic mechanics, multiscale modeling of materials with random microstructure, and the mechanics of failure under high-rate loading. She has been an active member within both the Ceramics and Composites Collaborative Materials Research Groups within CMEDE. Graham-Brady is Director of an NSF-funded IGERT training program with the theme of Modeling Complex Systems. She has received a number of awards, including the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize, and the William H. Huggins Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Learn more about CMEDE’s leadership here.

2020 CMEDE Highlights Showcases Research and Collaboration Within the Program

The Center for Materials in Extreme Dynamic Environments is pleased to release the CMEDE Highlights for 2020. This piece illustrates the unique aspects of the center’s activities, recaps  significant events, and showcases a small sampling of the programs and people within each of the center’s materials research groups (ceramics, composites, and metals). 2020 has been a tumultuous year, but these accomplishments have broad and deep impacts on the center’s scientific and technological capabilities and allow the people involved to developing a new workforce educated in the up-and-coming possibilities of materials-by-design. CMEDE is positive that the advances being made by the program in the science and the workforce will have great impact on the protection of military personnel and vehicles.

Click here to learn more about how CMEDE has adapted throughout the past year and the research that is helping create better protection materials for the U.S. Army.


2020 Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program (URAP) Application Period Open

For the fourth year in a row, the MEDE CRA has been awarded Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program (URAP) internships.  URAP internships are sponsored by the Army Research Office and is a part of the Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP).

URAP will provide eligible students an opportunity to participate in a paid research internship.  The stipend is $15/hour for up to 300 hours.  The internships will be held during the summer of 2020 and under the guidance of a MEDE principal investigator (PI).

Detailed information on the AEOP URAP program and student eligibility is available here.

Interested students can apply here. Students should select the “U266-university name” in the on-line application for the MEDE CRA.

As part of the application process, a recommendation from a MEDE PI agreeing to host the applicant is required.  Interested students can find the names of the MEDE PIs on the CMEDE research webpage.  The recommendation can be a simple letter or email and should be sent to Dr. Victor Nakano (

The application deadline is February 29, 2020.

MEDE-MSA Research Fellowship Application Period Opens

The United States Army Combat Capabilities Command’s Army Research Laboratory (CCDC ARL) and the United Kingdom’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) maintain a strong international partnership which fosters research collaborations between the two countries. Two major materials programs focused on defense applications are the Materials in Extreme Dynamic Environments (MEDE) funded by the ARL, and the Materials for Strategic Advantage (MSA) funded by DSTL.

The Center for Materials in Extreme Dynamic Environments is pleased to announce the MEDE – MSA research fellowship. This fellowship is only open to graduate students or postdocs funded on MEDE whose principal faculty advisor is a current MEDE principal investigator (PI). This research fellowship will enable current MEDE graduate students or postdocs the opportunity to participate in research activities at a university in the United Kingdom (UK). The fellowship will provide $6,000 (US) to support travel, housing and incidental costs. It is expected that the fellowship will be approximately eight weeks in duration, mostly likely during the summer months in 2020.

Before applying, the graduate student/postdoc and their MEDE PI should contact a prospective faculty member at a university located in the UK to coordinate the fellowship research focus and logistics. The intent of this fellowship is to provide a broadening experience and to foster research collaborations.

Interested graduate students and postdocs should submit an application which includes:

  1. Current curriculum vitae of applicant;
  2. Description of the planned research activities;
  3. Name and contact information of the current MEDE PI;
  4. Name and contact information of the proposed faculty member at a university located in the UK;
  5. Proposed dates of the fellowship;
  6. A statement that acknowledges the faculty member at the UK university has agreed to host the applicant;
  7. Personal statement on how this fellowship will benefit and broaden their research.

Application materials should be sent as a single pdf file to Dr. Victor Nakano ( The deadline to submit the application materials is Friday, March 27, 2020. The selected applicant will be expected to present a poster of their experience at the 2020 MEDE Fall Meeting and/or appropriate CMRG meeting.

Administrative notes: If selected, it is the applicant’s responsibility to coordinate travel and lodging with faculty member host at the UK university. Funding for this fellowship will be subawarded to the applicant’s home MEDE university, under the applicant’s MEDE PI. The funding covers travel, housing and incidentals. Graduate student stipend or postdoc salary will be supported by the MEDE PI on their respective MEDE task budget.

Welcome 2019 Extreme Science Internship (ESI) Students

We are pleased to welcome the following 2019 Extreme Science Internship (ESI) students: Atiyya Davis and Michael Straker. Davis and Straker are both working with HEMI Fellow Adam Phelan (Dept. of Chemistry, Associate Director of the PARADIM Bulk Crystal Growth Facility) as their advisor.

The ESI program is a year-round, paid internship program with Morgan State University (MSU). ESI provides opportunities for MSU students to participate in both internal and external internships associated with the Center for Materials in Extreme Dynamic Environments (CMEDE). ESI are STEM-focused with a particular emphasis on providing research opportunities related to MEDE, a basic research program focused on designing, developing, and testing improved soldier protection materials. The program is open to undergraduate and graduate students in MSU’s School of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences and the School of Engineering.

From left: Adam Phelan, Michael Straker, Atiyya Davis

Welcome 2019 Undergraduate Research and Apprenticeship Program (URAP) Interns

We are pleased to welcome the following 2019 Undergraduate Research and Apprenticeship Program (URAP) interns: Matthew Cohen (University of Delaware), Matthew Koelle (Rutgers University), Sohan Mugi (Georgia Institute of Technology), Robert Perez (University of Houston), Riley Prosser (University of Delaware), Vijay Ramesh (University of Houston), Caitlyn Schuette (Bucknell University), Daniel Starr (Lone Star College — Tomball), Victoria Tsarkova (Rutgers University), and Allysa Mae Tuano (University of Delaware).

URAP provides undergraduate students with an authentic science and engineering research experience alongside university researchers sponsored by the Army Research Office. URAP participants work at universities within the MEDE Collaborative Research Alliance. Through this commuter program, students will develop skills in Army critical science and engineering research areas in a university lab setting to prepare them for the next steps of their educational and professional career.


Dr. Sikhanda Satapathy Joins CMEDE as Cooperative Agreement Manager for MEDE CRA

We are pleased to welcome Dr. Sikhanda Satapathy as the new Cooperative Agreement Manager for the Materials in Extreme Dynamic Environments Collaborative Research Alliance.

Dr. Satapathy leads basic and applied research in the Soldier Protection Sciences area at the Army Research Laboratory in the US Army’s Combat Capability Development Command. Prior to joining ARL, he led electrodynamics and penetration mechanics research efforts at the Institute for Advanced Technology at the University of Texas at Austin for 15 years, initially as a Group Leader and later as Associate Director. His research interests include high-rate response of materials, penetration mechanics, shock physics, injury biomechanics, and electromagnetic launch.

Dr. Satapathy received his bachelor’s degree from Birla Institute of Technology and Science, India in 1987, his master’s from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1993, and his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin in 1997. He received the Peter Mark Medal from the IEEE Electromagnetic Launch Society in 2012, and is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.