ARA Engineer Awarded Grant through Young Investigator Research Program


Joey Maestas
Dr. Joey Maestas
The Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) awarded an Applied Research Associates, Inc. (ARA) engineer a three-year grant totaling $450,000 through its competitive Young Investigator Research Program (YIP).

Dr. Joey Maestas, a senior mechanical engineer and Weapon Physics Group leader with ARA, received the grant for his proposal “Numerically Predicting High Explosive Violent Response (HEVR) in Air Force Explosives.”

AFOSR awarded about $19.9 million in grants to 45 scientists and engineers from 38 research institutions and small businesses who submitted winning research proposals through the program. A total of 280 proposals were submitted.

Penetrating weapon payloads for hard and deeply buried targets undergo significant acceleration, pressure, and shear loading that can damage the material and possibly cause it to react in what’s called a high explosive violent response, or HEVR. Joey’s effort aims to advance the understanding of the underlying physics of damage and ignition in non-ideal, aluminized explosives to the point that allows for the accurate calibration of a numerical HEVR model for hard and deeply buried target scenarios.

“This research has the potential to reveal the actual physical mechanisms underlying explosive fill deflagration during hard target defeat scenarios, which will be used to generate predictive models for full-scale munitions simulations,” Maestas said.

“These models offer millions of dollars of potential savings over traditional test-based ordnance design” - Dr. Joey maestas, senior mechanical engineer.

The YIP is open to scientists and engineers at research institutions across the United States who received Ph.D. or equivalent degrees in the last five years and who show exceptional ability and promise for conducting basic research, according to the AFOSR. It aims to foster creative basic research in science and engineering, enhance early career development of outstanding young investigators, and expose young investigators to the Air Force mission and the related challenges in science and engineering.