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HEMI Graduate Student Suhas Eswarappa Prameela Publishes Article in Nature about Importance of Collaboration

Suhas Eswarappa Prameela, a graduate student in HEMI, has been published in Nature‘s “Why It Matters” section with a paper about the benefits of collaboration for young scholars.

In the paper, Prameela emphasizes the importance of collaboration, especially for graduate students and postdocs. Multi-PI (principal investigator) grants have seen an increase in funding as opposed to grants for single principal investigators. He highlights the Center for Materials in Extreme Dynamic Environments (CMEDE), a collaborative research alliance led by Johns Hopkins University and the Army Research Laboratory, as an example.

Prameela underscores the importance of being a part of a multi-PI project for students. From having the opportunity to work cohesively with others to engaging with a variety of scientists to exchange ideas, collaboration is crucial – and inter-university collaboration allows each student to enhance their professional network beyond their home university. He writes, “Large collaborative efforts like consortia can develop a workforce that sees the big picture and works across disciplines. These grand views can be very beneficial to students, helping to motivate collaborative efforts.”

The article was co-authored by K. T. Ramesh (HEMI Director, Alonzo G. Decker, Jr. Professor of Science and Engineering in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, with joint appointments in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering) and Tim Weihs (HEMI Fellow, Director of the MSEE URA, and professor in Materials Science and Engineering).

Nature’s “Why It Matters” section features articles that discuss the applications of science, with topics ranging from the intersection of science and politics to mental health in research culture.

Click here to read the full article.

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.

2018 CMEDE Highlights Showcases Research and Collaboration Within the Program

We are pleased to release the CMEDE Highlights for 2018. This issue illustrates the unique aspects of our activities, recaps some of our significant events, and showcases a small sampling of the programs and people within each of our materials research groups (ceramics, composites, and metals). We are excited to share these accomplishments with you, as they have broad and deep impacts on our scientific and technological capabilities and allow us to developing a new workforce educated in the up-and-coming possibilities of materials-by-design. We are positive that the advances we are making in the science and the workforce will have great impact on the protection of our military personnel and vehicles.

We encourage you to take a peek and learn more about CMEDE!

Application Period for Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program Internships Now Open

For the third year in a row, the Materials in Extreme Dynamic Environments Collaborative Research Alliance (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 2019 and under the guidance of a MEDE principal investigator (PI).

Detailed information on the AEOP URAP program and student eligibility is available at:

Interested students can apply at:

Building Better Armor: CMEDE Research Showcased in JHU Engineering Magazine

Building Better Vehicle Armor

Beatriz Medeiros
(Image: Will Kirk / Homewood Photography)

The average soldier carries at least 60 pounds of gear, with some specialized fighters carrying loads almost twice that weight. A significant portion of this is body armor. Typically made of a combination of ceramic and polymer materials, body armor worn by infantry members weighs  about 30 pounds.

This equipment is critical for the job, shielding vital organs from the potentially lethal shock of bullets and other projectiles. But even though modern body armor works pretty well for what it’s intended to do, explains Beatriz Medeiros, a third-year materials science and engineering student at the Whiting School, it can be cumbersome.

To lighten soldiers’ loads and to improve their protection within military vehicles, Medeiros is working in the lab of Timothy Weihs, a professor in her department, to develop new types of vehicle armor materials. She recently received the prestigious Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program internship, which is co-sponsored by the Army Research Office and the Center for Materials in Extreme Dynamic Environments (CMEDE). CMEDE is the Army’s largest, basic research program focused on improving protection materials for military applications and is located within the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute. Together, these sources provided the financial support that made it possible for her to continue her research at Johns Hopkins over the summer.

Medeiros is working to produces an alloy which, after proper thermomechanical processing, can form nano-precipitates that can slow down or block dislocations, the atomic-scale defects in materials that are produced and then propagate upon impact.

“A soldier’s job is hard enough,” Medeiros says. “By improving their armor, we’re hoping to make their jobs a little bit easier.”To further strengthen these alloys, Medeiros, under the mentorship of graduate student Suhas Eswarappa Prameela, is exploring different thermomechanical processing methods. These include rolling, which presses the material between two rollers, and equal channel angular extrusion, which pulls it through an L-shaped chamber. Both methods can change the material’s average crystal grain size  and precipitate size, which in turn affects its strength.

Click here to view all articles in JHU Engineering magazine.

Participants from 2018 CMEDE Summer Research Opportunities Showcase Their Work in New Booklet

Summer 2018 was an exciting time for CMEDE, with mentors working with students from three different internship programs that provide a diverse array of research opportunities.

The REAP program, sponsored by the Army Educational Outreach Program, sought out high school students from groups historically underrepresented in STEM fields. Working with a mentor, these students pursued research into topics ranging from breaking bonds in crystal quartz, to the development of 3D models simulating surface growth.

URAP, or the Undergraduate Research and Apprenticeship Program, provided undergraduate researchers with the resources to develop and pursue individual research projects. Sponsored by the Army Educational Outreach Program and CMEDE, this program provided valuable Army research, as well as experience that will prepare these students for careers in science and engineering.

Students in the Morgan State Extreme Science Internship (ESI) participate in both internal and external internships associated with the CMEDE. ESI opportunities are STEM-focused with a particular emphasis on providing research opportunities related to MEDE. Internal ESI are hosted by MSU faculty on the campus of Morgan State University. External ESI are conducted at one of the CMEDE university and research institutions located across the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany.

If you would like to read more about CMEDE’s summer programs and the research completed by this year’s participants, click here.

CMEDE is a center located within the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute at Johns Hopkins University. Research was sponsored by the Army Research Laboratory and was accomplished under Cooperative Agreement Number W911NF-12-2-0022. The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the Army Research Laboratory or the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Government purposes notwithstanding any copyright notation herein

CMEDE Graduate Student Jason Parker Receives American Society for Composites PhD Scholarship

Congratulations to Jason Parker, a PhD candidate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, who is one of this year’s recipient of the American Society for Composites (ASC) PhD Scholarship!

First awarded in 2000, the annual graduate student research scholarship grant program was created for formally enrolled Ph.D. students in engineering or science whose dissertation research is focused on some aspect of composite materials. Up to four awards will be given, each consisting of two parts – one portion to support the student’s research and the other to register and attend the ASC Technical Conference.

Parker accepted his award at the ASC banquet on September 25, 2018 at the ASC Technical Conference in Seattle, Washington.

2018 REAP Summer Interns Celebrate the Completion of Their Program

Congratulations to our 2018 Research and Engineering Apprenticeship Program (REAP) interns for completing their summer projects with HEMI! Interns Taylor Beverly (Eleanor Roosevelt HS), Chimmuanya Iheanyi-Igwe (Howard HS), Grace Kim (Poolesville HS), and Brook Mesfin (Walter Johnson HS) each completed a project under the mentorship of a graduate student/postdoctoral fellow in one of the following JHU departments: Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Physics & Astronomy. Earlier this month, the interns presented a summary of their projects to an audience containing members of HEMI, members of the U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program, their mentors, and their friends and family.

From left: KT Ramesh (HEMI), Taylor Beverly (REAP Intern), Brook Mesfin (REAP Intern), Grace Kim (REAP Intern), Chimmuanya Iheanyi-Igwe (REAP Intern), and Louie Lopez (AEOP).

2018 REAP interns and their mentors
From left: Kimberly Andes (Dept. of Mechanical Engineering), Taylor Beverly (REAP Intern), Brook Mesfin (REAP Intern), Thomas O’Connor (Dept. of Physics and Astronomy), Grace Kim (REAP Intern), Chimmuanya Iheanyi-Igwe (REAP Intern), Noah Wade (Dept. of Civil Engineering). Not pictured: Joel Clemmer (Dept. of Physics and Astronomy), Aakash Bangalore Satish (Dept. of Civil Engineering).

REAP is an Army Educational Outreach Program that places talented high school students in research internships area colleges and universities. In REAP, a summer STEM program, students work on a hands-on research project under the direct supervision of a mentor, exposing them to the real world of research and allowing them to gain valuable mentorship and learn about education and career opportunities in STEM. Each year, over 120 students participate in REAP nationwide at 42 participating universities. Approximately 90% of the REAP interns pursue STEM studies at the post-secondary level.