Prof. Bob Behringer is lead-PI on a recent award from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) which is focused on understanding the basic physics of high speed impacts of objects on granular materials. The project is entitled, "Microstructure, fluidization, and control of penetrator trajectories in granular media", and involves investigators from three other universities besides Duke. The PIs are R.P. Behringer, Lou Kondic (NJIT), Wolfgang Losert (University of MD) and Corey O'Hern (Yale University).
Lou Kondic was formerly a post-doc at Duke, and is currently a Full Professor at NJIT. Corey O'Hern was an undergraduate physics major at Duke. He is currently Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Physics at Yale University. The current award for this project is $1,077,791, and there is a possibility that it will be extended to approximately $1,700,000. Several of the PI's on the DTRA project above are also part of an ongoing multi-institutional and highly interdisciplinary NSF-supported project to apply the ideas of computational homology to patterns of force that appear in granular materials. The project, "CDI-Type II: Computational Homology, Jamming, and Force Chains in Dense Granular Flows" is joint with Profs. O'Hern, Kondic and Behringer, and with Prof. Konstantin Mischaikow, of Rutgers University, and a leading expert in computational homology. Newly arrived post-doc Joshua Dijksman will contribute significantly to these and other projects. Joshua received his Ph.D. ("Granular Media: Flow and Agitations") from the University of Leiden under the direction of Prof. Martin van Hecke.