BALTIMORE -- Army science and technology officials recently met with officials from Johns Hopkins University, or JHU, for tours and presentations.

Cynthia M. Bedell, director of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory's Computational and Information Sciences Directorate, and Dr. Kimberly Sablon, director of Basic Research, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology), visited the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute at JHU on April 3.

During the visit, the pair received presentations on the Materials in Extreme Dynamic Environments Collaborative Research Alliance, or MEDE CRA, from Dr. John Beatty of ARL and Prof. K.T. Ramesh from Johns Hopkins.

The MEDE CRA is an integral part of ARL's Enterprise for Multiscale Research of Materials, officials said. The objective of the alliance is to develop the capability to design, optimize and fabricate material systems exhibiting revolutionary performance in extreme dynamic environments.

The approach is a mechanism-based, "materials-by-design" capability that focuses on advancing the fundamental understanding of materials in relevant high-strain-rate regimes. Model materials in the areas of metals, ceramics and composites are being investigated to improve protection for Soldiers and vehicles.

In addition to the updates, Bedell toured the state-of-the-art facilities that support MEDE research activities. The tour included the 3-D characterization, laser shock, Kolsky-bar and plate impact facilities. These facilities can simulate forces from a blast and ballistic event, can determine the composition of a material sample undergoing these types of high impact events.

The visit concluded with a lunch session with current doctoral students. The doctoral students included Army researchers who are attending Johns Hopkins under the DOD SMART scholars program. Bedell was the featured speaker and provided career advice and insights into working at the Army Research Laboratory.

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The U.S. Army Research Laboratory is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to provide innovative research, development and engineering to produce capabilities that provide decisive overmatch to the Army against the complexities of the current and future operating environments in support of the joint warfighter and the nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.