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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

Two Former URAP Interns Selected to Help Lead AEOP Virtual Summer Course

Congratulations to Vijay Ramesh (University of Houston) and Victoria Tsarkova (Rutgers) for their selection to serve as near peer mentors for a new 2020 virtual summer course hosted by the Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP). The pair are two of five new mentors selected from a pool of former Undergraduate Research and Apprenticeship Program (URAP) participants.

In 2019, Ramesh was mentored by Prof. Shailendra Joshi (Univ. of Houston) and worked on a project titled, “Behavior of Notched and Smooth Magnesium Alloys at High Strain Rates.” Tsarkova was mentored by Prof. Rich Haber (Rutgers) and worked on a project titled, “Developing Improved Stereolithography Suspensions.” Click here to find more information about each student’s project.

JHU PhD Candidate Suhas Prameela Accepts MEDE-MSA Fellowship

Congratulations to Suhas Eswarappa Prameela on receiving the MEDE-MSA Research Fellowship! This fellowship enables current MEDE graduate students or postdocs the opportunity to participate in research activities at a MSA-affiliated university in the United Kingdom. With this fellowship, Prameela plans to explore the microstructure evolution of binary Magnesium alloys during thermo-mechanical processing. Prameela is a PhD candidate working in the Metals CMRG with Prof. Timothy Weihs. During the fellowship period, Prameela will work with Prof. Joseph Robson in the Department of Materials Engineering at the University of Manchester.

The MEDE-MSA fellowship is only open to graduate students or postdocs funded on MEDE whose principal faculty advisor is a current MEDE principal investigator (PI). The fellowship provides $6,000 (US) to support travel, housing and incidental costs. It is expected that the fellowship will be approximately eight weeks in duration which can be conducted throughout the year.

MEDE Graduate Student Receives Engaged Scholar Graduate Student Award from the JHU Center for Social Concern

Congratulations to PhD candidate Suhas Eswarappa Prameela who was recently awarded the Engaged Scholar Graduate Student Award from the JHU Center for Social Concern. Suhas works with PI Prof. Tim Weihs (JHU) in the Metals CMRG.

The Engaged Scholar Graduate Student Award is given to a Homewood-affiliated graduate student whose dedication to community engagement, through teaching, community-based program development, and/or research has enriched the undergraduate student experience and established meaningful community partnerships.

Suhas was nominated for this award by people from different departments across campus including three faculty from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering: Prof. Tim Weihs, Prof. Evan Ma and Prof. Patricia McGuiggan.

“I am very grateful for the wonderful support from my adviser (Prof. Tim Weihs) as well other faculty in the department. The ability to inspire, articulate complex scientific concepts and engage young minds with open questions provides me a great opportunity for learning and appreciating science from different perspectives. Their encouragement towards teaching and mentoring undergraduate students at Hopkins as benefitted me immensely.”

MEDE Graduate Student Accepts President Harry S. Truman Fellowship in National Security Science and Engineering with Sandia National Laboratories

Line-Art Created by Thomas O’Connor

Congratulations to PhD candidate Thomas O’Connor for his acceptance of the President Harry S. Truman Fellowship in National Security Science and Engineering at Sandia National Laboratories. The fellowship is a three-year research position that allows fellows to conduct independent research that supports Sandia’s national security mission.

O’Connor, a member of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, has worked with HEMI Fellow Mark Robbins on research related to polymer mechanics and processing. His research at Sandia will focus on developing hydrodynamic models for additive manufacturing, or the physics behind how polymers flow in 3D printers. 3D printers are a rapidly growing means of manufacturing. The hope is that by better understanding what properties make a polymer suitable for printing, future 3D printers can be made to use all sorts of plastic waste to recycle into useful parts.

O’Connor explains that as a member of the Polymers CMRG within HEMI’s CMEDE program he, “focused on understanding the mechanics and processing of polymer fibers. As the polymers program began winding down, I became more interested in the fluid dynamics of polymers during fiber formation and other processing methods like additive manufacturing.” He went on to say that he is excited for this transition explaining, “The Truman Fellowship gives me the freedom to pursue my own research interests for 3 years and provides resources for me to travel and collaborate frequently. This is a great resource for maintaining my current collaborations with CMEDE and ARL scientists. I am looking forward to collaborating more closely with experimentalists developing new processing methods for polymers. I am also excited to work with and learn from experts in fluid dynamics. My Ph.D. research focused primarily on modeling molecular scale physics and I am looking forward to acquiring new tools to study polymers at higher scales.”

For more information on the Truman Fellowship, click here.

Prof. Kevin Hemker Takes Office as 2018 TMS President

Kevin Hemker, Alonzo G. Decker Chair and Professor of Mechanical Engineering and PI within the Ceramics CMRG, has been installed as the 2018 President of The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS).

Hemker took office at the TMS Annual Meeting, held from March 11-15 in Phoenix, Arizona. At the meeting’s award ceremony, he offered the audience a preview of his plans for the coming year, “My vision for TMS involves both staying the course and pursuing opportunities for change.”

In his remarks, Hemker acknowledged his long career at Johns Hopkins, as well as the university’s promising work in the materials field, “I am also proud of my academic family-tree and in particular the branch that is growing at Johns Hopkins. Working with so many talented young scientists and witnessing the digital revolution that is upon us, I am convinced that there has never, ever been a better time to be a materials professional.”

A professional member of TMS since 1991, Hemker has served two terms on the TMS Board of Directors as Public & Governmental Affairs (P&GA) Director from 2008 to 2013. He has also contributed as a member of the Titanium, Strategic Planning, and P&GA committees. In 2014, he was elected as a TMS Fellow.

MEDE PI Timothy Weihs Receives Fulbright Award

Congratulations to MEDE PI and Metals CMRG co-lead Prof. Timothy Weihs for being selected by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board to receive a Fulbright award to New Zealand. Weihs is currently on sabbatical at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. While there, his activities will focus on three main areas:

– He will research the use of 3D woven structures and how their use as scaffolding for the growth of bones and tissues alongside researchers at the University of Canterbury and the University of Otago;

– He will teach an undergraduate course on the mechanical properties of biometric materials; and

– He will work to create a program allowing for a foreign exchange program for undergraduate engineering students from Johns Hopkins University and the University of Canterbury.

At Hopkins, Weihs is a professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and holds a secondary appointment with the Department of Mechanical Engineering.  His interests include nanomaterials, thin films, and structural materials.

The Fulbright Program is an educational program which aims to bridge the gap of understanding between people of the United States and people of other countries. Established by J. William Fulbright, a former United States Senator who represented Arkansas for nearly 30 years, the Fulbright award has had over 370,000 participants since its inception in 1946.

MEDE PI Michael Falk to Receive MRS Impact Award

Congratulations to MEDE PI Professor Michael Falk for being selected by the Materials Research Society Board of Directors to receive the 2018 MRS Impact Award. Prof. Falk is the vice dean of undergraduate education at JHU, and a professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, with  secondary appointments in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

This award honors outstanding individuals who have displayed excellence in areas of science communications, education, advancing diversity, mentoring, or community engagement. He was chosen for the award for “his broad participation in STEM education in Baltimore elementary schools; for bringing attention to professional and educational climate issues faced by LGBTQ students and researchers; and for pioneering research-based methodologies for integrating computation into the Materials Science and Engineering curriculum.”

He will be formally recognized for the award at the 2018 MRS Spring Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona.

MEDE CRA Awarded AEOP URAP Summer Internships for Second Consecutive Year

For the second year in a row, the MEDE CRA has been awarded Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program (URAP) internships.  URAP internships are supported 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 internships will be held during the summer of 2018 and under the guidance of a MEDE principal investigator at the following universities:

  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Rutgers University
  • California Institute of Technology
  • University of Delaware
  • Drexel University
  • Purdue University
  • New Mexico Institute for Mining and Technology
  • Morgan State University
  • North Carolina A&T University
  • University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • Texas A&M University

Detailed information on the AEOP URAP program and the online application is available at:

Interested students can find the names of the MEDE principal investigators on the CMEDE research webpage and clicking on the individual CMRG links on the slider menu on the right.

The application deadline is February 28, 2018, so don’t hesitate to apply!