Clarke receives Young Investigator Award from ONR

Amy J. Clarke, associate professor of metallurgical and materials engineering at Colorado School of Mines, has received a Young Investigator Award from the Office of Naval Research to study certain alloys for their ability to withstand explosive blasts.

The project, “In-Situ Studies of Strain Rate Effects on Phase Transformations and Microstructural Evolution in -Titanium and Multi-Principal Element Alloys,” will receive $510,000 over three years. Clarke’s team will investigate metastable -titanium and multi-principal element alloys that exhibit transformation-induced plasticity (TRIP) and/or twinning-induced plasticity (TWIP) for blast resistance.

The team will conduct state-of-the-art multiscale characterization of microstructural evolution during and after quasi-static and dynamic loading to fundamentally understand TRIP/TWIP. “This new knowledge will drive the design of lightweight metallic alloys with tailored deformation mechanisms for blast resistance and performance in extreme environments,” Clarke said.

The Young Investigator Program, introduced in 1985, seeks to identify and support academic scientists and engineers in their first or second full-time tenure-track academic appointment who show exceptional promise for doing creative research. Clarke was one of 32 investigators to receive the award this year, chosen from more than 340 highly qualified applicants.

At Mines, Clarke is the site director of the Center for Advanced Non-Ferrous Structural Alloys and affiliated with the Advanced Steel Processing and Products Research Center. She holds master’s and doctoral degrees in metallurgical and materials engineering from Mines and worked as a scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory before joining the Mines faculty in 2016.

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