NEWS | Jan. 8, 2015

Dr. John Michopoulos Receives Wolfram Innovator Award

By Daniel Parry

U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) research scientist, Dr. John Michopoulos, is awarded the 2014 Wolfram Innovator Award for his creative and innovative use and application of the Wolfram Programming Language—a general multi-paradigm programming language developed by Wolfram Research Inc. (WRI).

The award recognizes the achievements of those individuals in education, finance, engineering, and science who have made significant contributions to their industry or fields of research with Wolfram technologies, said Cynthia Girder, government sales manager of WRI.

Michopoulos was presented the award October 23, 2014, at the Wolfram banquet by WRI founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr. Stephen Wolfram, citing the many creative and unique ways Michopoulos has used Wolfram Language as a part of the symbolic computing package Mathematica—a flagship product of WRI.

More precisely, Wolfram cited, as characteristic examples, the usage of Mathematica for the unique geometric and functional virtual prototyping of NRL's six-degrees of freedom (6-DoF) robotic loader that enabled his pioneering research on the multiaxial testing and data-driven characterization of composite materials.

Wolfram also accredited Michopoulos as a pioneer in introducing Mathematica to NRL, citing the spring 1992 edition of NeXTworld magazine that featured Wolfram and the impact of Mathematica to include a sub-article about Michopoulos' research on automating the scientific method by automating the theory generation process via Mathematica. Further, Wolfram credited Michopoulos as an avid user of Mathematica since its very first release (Version 0.99) when it was included in the software bundle included with the NeXT computer in 1988, whereas Michopoulos served as a beta tester of the software.

Additionally, the Wolfram award lauds Michopoulos for numerous fields of use of Mathematica, such as, cross-reducibility analysis of material failure theories; multidimensional programming language development in software actor environments; and exploitation of the global optimizer technology in Mathematica to achieve data-driven inverse characterization of various materials systems under multiphysics conditions. These include ionic polymer metal composites for artificial muscle applications, carbon-nanotube composites for hydrogen storage applications, and carbon epoxy composites for damage characterization and evolution applications among many.

Head of the Computational Multiphysics Systems Laboratory at NRL, Michopoulos has earned international acclaim and reputation for research and leadership on many multidisciplinary areas of engineering science and technology. His pioneering work and innovative leadership has resulted in the development of the first autonomous recursive 6-DoF robotic testing system. Designed for the data driven constitutive characterization of anisotropic materials, the robotic material loader recently achieved the highest industrial rates of fully automated multiaxial testing functionality.

Michopoulos' multidisciplinary and significant contributions extend to forward and inverse approaches of multiphysics modeling and simulation methods and algorithms and computational tools on high performance computing architectures, as they relate to areas such as electromagnetic launcher systems, data-driven environments for multiphysics applications, artificial muscle smart materials, electromagnetic propulsion, sensor networks for structural and environment monitoring, optical methods for displacement and strain measurement, failure theories, coupled electro-magneto and hygrothermoelastic theories of continua, electromagnetic discharge imaging, catastrophe theory applications, and many others.

A graduate from National Technical University of Athens, Greece, Michopoulos received a doctorate in theoretical and applied mechanics completing defense of his Ph.D. thesis, Closed Form Solutions of Plane Crack Problems in Isotropic and Anisotropic Elasticity, June 1983. His supervisor was Academy of Athens president professor P.S. Theocaris—the namesake of the Academy's highest honor awarded to Michopoulos in 2013.

As a postdoctoral researcher working on the multiphysics of electromagnetic hygrothermoelasticity and fracture mechanics under the direction of professor G.C. Sih, at Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa., Michopoulos also served as an adjunct professor at both Lehigh University and Lafayette College, Easton, Pa., demonstrating his dedication to the value of education in engineering and science. Michopoulos continues his dedication to education at NRL as a mentor to many Naval Research Enterprise Intern Program (NREIP) students and summer faculty.