Lori Graham-Brady, professor of civil and systems engineering and associate director of the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute (HEMI), one of Johns Hopkins University’s premier research institutes, is a leading global researcher in the field of computational stochastic mechanics, multiscale modeling of materials with random microstructure, and the mechanics of failure under high-rate loading.
Graham-Brady’s research provides critical computational modeling needed to understand the connections between material-scale uncertainties and the reliability of structures. Her work in direct government and the industrial application includes the development of a collaborative program funded by and in partnership with the Army Research Labs for implementing multiscale modeling and design of materials for extreme dynamic environments, in particular designing ceramics and composites for armor applications. Graham-Brady also develops correlation-based simulations of complex material microstructures for Corning, Inc., in order to identify quantitative metrics that describe multi-phase materials and to connect these metrics to key material performance. Additional studies in reducing defense threats and improving global security and safety include a three-year project to create fragmentation models that will help characterize the debris that arises from very high-rate events such as nuclear blast.
Her innovations in furthering engineering education include a seven-year study for the National Science Foundation’s flagship program, Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) on modeling complex systems and developing the scientific basis of coupling multi-scale multi-physics models. From 2008 to 2016, Graham-Brady directed the JHU Modeling Complex Systems IGERT for 25 PhD JHU students from six departments, with nearly 50 percent participation by women or members of STEM underrepresented minorities. She initiated new professional development courses, a technical course related to modeling, and the program’s foundational peer interaction: a student-run colloquium series. From 2015 to 2021, Graham-Brady served as chair of the Department of Civil and Systems Engineering and helped lead the transformation of the Department of Civil Engineering into the expanded and refocused Department of Civil and Systems Engineering in 2019.
As a key leader of the multidisciplinary HEMI, Graham-Brady’s research and leadership further HEMI’s mission to advance the fundamental science associated with materials and structures under extreme conditions and develop the tools and basic science needed to address future threats and opportunities. Specifically, she oversees HEMI staff and leads HEMI’s internationally recognized annual Mach Conference.
Graham-Brady holds secondary appointments in the departments of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering and is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Ceramic Society, and Society of Women Engineers. Her extensive leadership of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Engineering Mechanics Institute (EMI) includes currently chairing its Probabilistic Methods Committee and serving on the ASCE EMI awards and nominating committees. Additionally, she has served on the EMI board of governors from 2011 to 2014, ASCE EMI Huber Awards selection committee, chaired the communications committee and co-founded the ASME Committee on Uncertainty and Probabilistics, for which she held an eight-year tenure as vice-chair. Her awards include the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize, and the William H. Huggins Award for Excellence in Teaching.
A sought-after reviewer of more than 200 papers for structures and mechanics journals, Graham-Brady has been an associate editor for the ASCE Journal of Engineering Mechanics since 2014, and also serves on the editorial boards of Structural Safety (since 2017), Probabilistic Engineering Mechanics (since 2007).
She received her BE/AB in engineering sciences from Dartmouth College in 1990, an MA in civil engineering (1990), and a PhD in civil engineering and operations research (1996) from Princeton University.