Joseph N Grima (1974-) is a resident academic at the University of Malta within the Faculty of Science (Department of Chemistry and Metamaterials Unit). His academic work ranges from mechanical metamaterials to biomechanics and focuses on the strong relationship between geometry and function. He is also an Honorary Professor at the University of Exeter (UK), President of the Malta Paralympic Committee and Council Member of the Malta Chamber of Scientists.
He leads a research group working on materials and structures exhibiting negative properties such as negative Poisson’s ratios (auxetic), negative thermal expansion and negative compressibility. The group has hosted a number of international conferences and workshops and co-edited various international journal special issues on these novel systems. The research entails the testing, modelling and/or simulation of the mechanical properties of materials in an attempt to discover or design materials with these unusual properties. Particularly interesting results include the discovery of negative Poisson’s ratios in graphene, tendons, the zeolite class of materials, the design of various networked polymeric auxetics and, the development of models for predicting the mechanical properties of auxetic foams and of microporous polymers. Some of these discoveries have a number of very important implications (e.g. the discovery that tendons have a negative Poisson’s ratio may necessitate a rethink of how injured tendons are treated).
In addition to this, Professor Grima is involved in a number of biomechanics research projects which range from the biomechanics of the chest to sports biomechanics, with particular emphasis on rowing, a sport which he practices.