Kevin Hemker, the Alonzo G. Decker Chair and professor of mechanical engineering, is known for work explaining the underlying, atomic-level details that govern the mechanical response, performance, and reliability of disparate material systems. He holds joint appointments in the departments of Materials Science and Engineering, and Earth and Planetary Sciences.
Hemker’s research group has made key observations and discoveries that have challenged the way the community thinks about and understands materials behavior in nanocrystalline materials, materials for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), metallic micro-lattices, thermal barrier coatings for satellites and gas turbines, armor ceramics, extreme environments, and high-temperature structural materials. They are now working on projects including deformation behavior and grain growth in nanocrystalline materials and thin films, the characterization and modeling of multilayered thermal protection systems, the development of metallic materials for MEMS, and the development of architected materials through textile and additive manufacturing.
Hemker is the founding director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Additive Manufacturing and Architected Materials (JAM2) and has sponsored research projects with the United States Air Force, Army, and Navy, as well as the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation and NASA. He is leading a collaborative effort to develop Metal MEMS of nanotwinned-NiMoW alloys with an unprecedented balance of properties and the potential to ensure that sensors can hold up to the demands of the next technological frontier. Hemker also is co-principal investigator of a $1.6 million Designing Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer Our Future (DMREF) grant from the National Science Foundation, in which researchers at Johns Hopkins and Georgetown University are studying the fused filament fabrication (FFF) process and its effect on the underlying molecular structure and properties of 3-D-printed polymers.
Hemker served as editor of Scripta Materialia from 2004 to 2011 and was a member and vice-chair of the DARPA Defense Science Research Council from 2010 to 2015.
He is the 2018 president of The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS), a member of the HRL Technical Advisory Group, and a member of the SRI Technology Council. He received the Materials Science Research Silver Medal from ASM International and has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the American Society of Metals (ASM International), and TMS and is a member of the Material Research Society and the American Ceramics Society.
Hemker received a BS in metallurgy from the University of Cincinnati in 1985 and a master’s and PhD in materials science and engineering from Stanford University in 1987 and 1990, respectively. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in physics at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne before joining the faculty of the Whiting School of Engineering in 1993.