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NEWS | Feb. 29, 2024

NRL Principal Scientist John Michopoulos Received the Robert Moskovic Award

By Nicholas E. M. Pasquini, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory Corporate Communications

U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) mechanical engineer, John Michopoulos, Ph.D., received the 2022 Robert Moskovic Award from the European Structural Integrity Society (ESIS) in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the fields of computational, theoretical and experimental multiphysics.

“Dr. Michopoulos’ research has been focused on how best to advance the state of the possible, including changing basic paradigms of materials research, to enhance DOD platform performance including enabling new capabilities,” said Material Science and Technology Division Superintendent Virginia DeGiorgi, Ph.D, SES. “This award is extremely important in that it is recognition by an outside community of the efforts led by Dr. Michopoulos at NRL in the development of theoretical understanding and computational tools required for advanced design and risk mitigation.”

The Robert Moskovic Award distinguishes individuals with scientific and academic careers that have earned recognition from their peers worldwide. The prize is a tribute to the founder of the ESIS-Technical Committee on Risk Analysis and Safety of Large Structures and Components (TC12). Moskovic created a distinguished career in the nuclear power industry, where he developed radical new systems for the safety of reactors.

“I am extremely humbled and honored that the ESIS-TC12 recognized the significant value of the work my colleagues and I have been conducting here at NRL,” said Michopoulos. “I feel that the impact our research has had on the Navy and the material science communities is based on the enduring contributions of technologies developed by the Computational Multiphysics Systems Laboratory.”

As NRL’s Principal Scientist of Material Innovation within the Material Science and Technology Division, Michopoulos, founded and is actively involved with the Computational Multiphysics Systems Laboratory (CMSL) established in 1999. The CMSL addresses the realities of materials beyond physical space into the conceptual and computational spaces resulting in the data-driven systemic behavior prediction of complex systems including composite materials and platforms.

For nearly 38 years, Michopoulos has provided enabling technologies to the continuum systems modeling and composite materials communities such as computationally enabled efficient, inexpensive and reliable methodologies for addressing the needs of system builders, qualifiers, certifiers, and operators.

“NRL is the birthplace of many advances in fracture mechanics, rational continuum mechanics, and proposed the use of nuclear power to propel submarines,” Michopoulos said. “Our group is responsible for the only automated methodology that experimentally determines the full constitutive behavior materials both in the linear and non-linear regimes. This involves high throughput robotic multiaxial testing, coupled multiphysics based machine learning approaches for solving inverse problems for the constitutive characterization of materials and high performance non-contact full-field displacement and strain field methods."

The CMSL group is automating the process of generating custom data-driven simulation environments and digital twins that provide access to the measured behavior of materials and manufacturing processes (e.g. additive manufacturing) capable of spanning multidimensional multiparametric spaces related to Naval system design, qualification, and sustainment.

Consequently, Michopoulos oversees the development of computational methodologies and systems enabling design and systemic tailoring to desired behavior of systems and structures under multiple generalized loading conditions, including mechanical, thermal, environmental, and electromagnetic.

His materials research and expertise remains relevant for assets throughout the Navy in regard to designing, manufacturing, qualifying and repairing, including aircraft, ships, submarines, space platforms, and civil infrastructure and transportation systems.

The Materials Science and Technology Division conducts basic and applied research in functional and structural materials and engages in exploratory and advanced development to generate new Navy technologies and defense capabilities. 

These efforts are performed by multidisciplinary teams of materials scientists, physicists, chemists, and engineers working at the atomic, nano, microstructural, mesostructural, and macroscopic scales.

The integrated use of new experimental and computational techniques accelerates new scientific understanding and innovative engineering solutions. Advanced materials synthesis, processing, characterization, diagnostic capabilities, performance prediction methods, and life-cycle management methods are developed to further new device design, prototyping, and testing methods.

About the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

NRL is a scientific and engineering command dedicated to research that drives innovative advances for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps from the seafloor to space and in the information domain. NRL is located in Washington, D.C. with major field sites in Stennis Space Center, Mississippi; Key West, Florida; Monterey, California, and employs approximately 3,000 civilian scientists, engineers and support personnel.
For more information, contact NRL Corporate Communications at (202) 480-3746 or

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