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Derek Warner gets U.S. Navy grant to perform atomic modeling of aluminum in ships

Derek Warner

The U.S. Navy's Office of Naval Research (ONR) has awarded Derek Warner, Cornell assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, a $277,000 grant to help build better, more durable ships.

Warner was one of 25 scientists across the country who received ONR funding in the 2008 Young Investigators Program. His grant was awarded under the Sea Warfare and Weapons category.

With the three-year grant, Warner proposes to bolster research at the Naval Surface Warfare Center's Carderock Division by creating an atom-by-atom computer simulation that analyzes how stresses, load history and temperature affect aluminum ship structures. Naval scientists are already working on a material model that can predict cracks and other damage in ship structures.

A member of the Cornell civil engineering faculty since October 2007, Warner's research focus is understanding physical mechanisms that control the deformation and fracture of various engineering materials.