USAF, Johns Hopkins, And The Better Airplane

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The Air Force is creating a new research center led by a team of engineers from Johns Hopkins University to expedite development of a new generation of lightweight, durable materials for use in aircraft and powerplants. The Center of Excellence on Integrated Material Modeling (CEIMM) is supported by a $3 million U.S. Air Force award, to be distributed over three years. It will apply "novel computational and experimental methods to support the next generation of military aircraft." The initiative seeks to apply new techniques that will help shrink the timeline of product development, from proof of concept to implementation.

Earlier this year, Johns Hopkins opened the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute (HEMI), which focuses on understanding how materials and systems behave under extreme conditions. CEIMM will operate within HEMI, collecting "the nation's leading academic, industry ad military leaders to begin paving the way toward a 21st century generation of materials." Researchers at CEIMM will focus on how different materials respond to different loads at different temperatures like those that lead to failure in conventional aircraft engines. In practice, they will seek to create lighter materials with higher thermal stabilities and more robust mechanical durability across higher loads and temperatures.