Jaafar El-Awady, professor of mechanical engineering, is recognized for furthering the fundamental understanding of the underlying deformation mechanism in materials. A winner of a 2018 Johns Hopkins University Catalyst Award, he creates cutting-edge, multi-scale computational methods and experimental techniques necessary to develop next-generation materials for aerospace, naval, automotive, and energy applications.
As founder and director of the Johns Hopkins Computational and Experimental Materials Engineering Laboratory (CEMEL) and interim director of the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute (HEMI), El-Awady’s expertise is primarily in the field of mechanics of materials for extreme environments, with particular focus on developing advanced multi-scale simulation techniques (from atoms to continuum) and high-temperature bulk- and micro-scale experiments, to predict the mechanical properties, underlying deformation mechanisms, damage evolution, and failure in materials. In 2015, he was awarded the National Science Foundation’s prestigious Early CAREER Award to support his research in developing microstructurally based computational methods to fundamentally identify the effect of hydrogen on the deformation and fracture of metals used in energy generation, conversion, and storage systems.
Research in his group includes predicting the fundamental mechanisms controlling the properties of complex alloys with a specific focus on their thermo/chemo-mechanical properties for extreme environment applications and characterizing the deformation and failure of coatings for high-temperature applications. His group’s research also quantifies and predicts the fatigue life of materials and predicts the plasticity and failure of epoxy polymers. Additionally, El-Awady’s group develops machine learning approaches for accelerated predictions of deformation and damage in materials.
Prior to joining the Johns Hopkins faculty in 2010, El-Awady was a visiting scientist at the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate at the Air Force Research Laboratory and a research consultant for Digital Material Solutions Inc. In 2019, he was appointed chair of JHU’s Engineering for Professionals’ Mechanical Engineering Graduate Program. El-Awady, who holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, is a member of the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute (HEMI) and is the associate director of the Center on Artificial Intelligence for Materials in Extreme Environments (CAIMEE) and the Center for Integrated Structure-Materials Modeling and Simulations (CISMMS). For four years, he participated in the STEM Achievement in Baltimore Elementary Schools (SABES), and from 2015 to 2017, he presented a summer lecture series at Sichuan University, in Chengdu, China, on the mechanics of materials and microscale plasticity in solids.
In addition to the NSF Career Award and JHU Catalyst honor, El-Awady has been recognized with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Materials Division Orr Early Career Award (2014) and the Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Young Faculty Award (2012). He received several awards for his graduate and undergraduate research, including the 2008 Outstanding PhD Award in Aerospace Engineering from the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of California, Los Angeles. He is also the chair of the 10th International Conference on Multiscale Materials Modeling in 2020, the world’s largest conference dedicated to multiscale materials modeling.
El-Awady is a member of the American Society for Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Materials Research Society (MRS), The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society (TMS), and United States Association for Computational Mechanics (USACM). He has guest-edited a focus issue on intrinsic and extrinsic size effects in materials for the Journal of Materials Research in 2018 and is a member of the editorial board of Materials Theory – Springer.
He received a BS (2001) and MS (2003) in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from Cairo University, Egypt, and a PhD in aerospace engineering (2008) from the University of California, Los Angeles.