AFIT faculty selected as Air Force Flemming Award nominee

  • Published
  • By Katie Scott
  • Air Force Institute of Technology

Air Force Institute of Technology faculty member Dr. Adib Samin is the Air Force nominee for the 75th annual Arthur S. Flemming Award, Basic Science Category. The winner will be honored at the 2024 National Academy of Public Administration Fall Meeting.

The Flemming Awards honor outstanding federal employees with three to 15 years of service in the fields of applied science and engineering, basic science, leadership and management, legal achievement and social science.

“Being the Air Force nominee for the Arthur S. Fleming Basic Science Award is a great honor and privilege,” Samin said. “I believe that advancements in basic science are critical to our nation’s defense, and it is truly humbling for my efforts in this area to be recognized. I am grateful to my students for their hard work and commitment. I am also indebted to my mentors for their support and assistance.”

Samin joined AFIT’s Graduate School of Engineering and Management in February 2019 as an assistant professor of nuclear engineering where he teaches courses in applied physics and nuclear engineering.

His research seeks to create an understanding of structure-property relationships and to reveal atomic-level mechanisms. His work at AFIT began by investigating the factors involved in catastrophic oxidation of alloys involved in flight. This led to an Air Force Office of Scientific Research funded project to investigate several aspects of the oxidation process, such as the interstitial solubility of oxygen in various alloys and the dependence of solubility on the local atomic environment.

Samin’s research expanded further to investigate the early stages of oxidation on alloy surfaces as well as the oxide coatings and thermal properties of the alloys and oxides such as the mismatch in thermal expansion coefficient, thermal conductivity of the oxides and the mechanical response. It is expected that establishing this fundamental scientific understanding will allow for designing better mitigation strategies and improved performance for the next generation of high-temperature structural alloys. He has raised over $850,000 in research funds with the results for two more proposals pending.

He is also researching the mechanical response of metallic alloys to shock waves and high stresses encountered in extreme environments. Current efforts focus on two specific areas: the prediction of defect phases in alloys and examining how metallic plastic response could be altered as a function of atomic configurations. It is expected that uncovering the atomistic mechanisms responsible will allow for overcoming the strength-ductility trade-off.

A third area of research Samin developed is the computational prediction of the response of electronic materials to irradiation and establishing the links between radiation-induced defects and changes in properties and ultimate functions of the device. Work on the effects of radiation on structural materials has already been performed and has recently been expanded to electronic devices to support other ongoing efforts and experiments at AFIT. He was recently awarded AFOSR funding to investigate the impact of radiation and extreme temperature fluctuations on the functionality of solar cells.

Samin infuses his research into the courses he teaches by emphasizing a hands-on approach to the theory covered in class. He introduced a new course to the AFIT curriculum, which covers state-of-the-art multi-scale computational techniques used in the area of materials science with an emphasis on atomistic simulations. He further introduced density functional theory calculation to an existing course he is teaching on the physics of solids so students could calculate electronic band structures, phonon dispersion and elastic constants for an elemental solid.

He has published 44 peer-reviewed journal articles and was invited to give a headline research talk at the High Temperature Corrosion and Material Degradation Symposium at the Materials Science and Technology 2023 Conference.

Samin earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Wayne State University, a Master’s of Science degree in chemical physics and a doctorate degree in mechanical engineering from The Ohio State University.