Skip to main content
Prof. Mitchell Walker

Prof. Mitchell Walker

Laboratory Director
Hisham K. Ali

Hisham K. Ali

Research Engineer and Post-Doctoral Fellow

Hisham earned a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering with minors in Mathematics and Computer Based Honors from the University of Alabama in May 2013. In August 2013, he joined the Space Systems Design Laboratory as a graduate student and has also been a member of HPEPL since August 2017. In May 2015, he earned a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. In May 2019, he successfully completed the requirements for his doctoral degree, and earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Aerospace Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in August 2019. Hisham’s current research interests are in magnetohydrodynamics, planetary entry systems, hypersonics, and plasma physics.

More Information

 

Graduate Students

Jean Luis Suazo Betancourt

Jean Luis Suazo Betancourt (US citizen) received a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland College Park in the Spring of 2017 before joining HPEPL as a graduate student in the Fall of 2017. His primary research interests include the development of laser-based diagnostic systems for fundamental plasma physics and performance investigations of electric propulsion devices. On a macro-scale, he is interested in the effects these performance investigations have on the current models for electric propulsion devices as they become a more integral part of the satellite architectures associated with our national space infrastructure.

 

Nathan Brown

Nathan Brown

NSF Fellow

Nathan Brown (US citizen) received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech in 2016 and 2018, respectively. His primary research interests include Hall thruster facility effects, plasma-material interactions, and non-invasive plasma diagnostics. 

More Information

 

 

Naia Butler-Craig

Naia Butler-Craig

NSTGRO Fellow

Naia Butler-Craig (US citizen) graduated with a B.S. degree in Aerospace Engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with minors in Computational and Applied Mathematics. She joined HPEPL as a graduate student in August 2019. Her primary research interests include the plasma physics of electron confinement and miniaturization of electric thrusters for nanosatellite applications. Naia desires to help enable deep space exploration with electric propulsion technologies and inspire the next generation of STEM professionals.

More Information

 

Chhavi

Chhavi graduated with a B. Tech degree in Aerospace Engineering from SRM University, Chennai, India in 2018.  She joined HPEPL as a graduate student in August 2018. Her primary research interests include functional Hall thruster design and plasma turbulence.  Chhavi desires to help enable deep space exploration with electric propulsion technologies using economical and innovative solutions.

LinkedIN

 

 

Mikal Dufor

Mikal Dufor (US citizen) received a B.S. in Physics from the University of West Virginia in 2015.  His goal is to help make progress in electric propulsion research to further advance the exploration of our universe.  His primary research interest include plasma physics and understanding of plasma phenomena in the plume of thrusters.

Muhannad Eladl

Muhannad Eladl (US citizen) received a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2019. He started in the lab as an undergraduate student in 2018 and as a graduate student in 2019.  His primary interest is in non-invasive plasma diagnostic techniques and facility effects for high-power electric propulsion devices.

Ethan Hopping

Ethan Hopping

NSTRF Fellow

Ethan Hopping (US citizen) graduated with B.S. and M.S. degrees in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 2017. He joined HPEPL as a graduate student in August 2019. His primary research interests include optical diagnostics for Hall effect thrusters and increasing our understanding of plasma instabilities in these thrusters. Ethan believes qualifying high-power electric propulsion systems will remain a significant technical challenge without a better understanding of interactions between thrusters and test facilities.

More Information

 

David Jovel

David Jovel

GEM & Aerospace Corporation Fellow

David earned a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 2011. His primary research interest is the thermal management of high-power electric propulsion devices. David strongly believes in the equity of public education and mentoring the next generation of engineers, especially the youth from underrepresented communities in STEM.

More Information

 

Scott King

Scott King

Graduate Research Assistant

Scott King (US citizen) received a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering with high honor from Georgia Tech in May 2008 and joined HPEPL as a graduate student that month. His primary research interests include plasma physics, RF plasmas, and hypersonic aerodynamics. Scott is currently researching a low-Earth orbit ion engine and high T/P Hall Effect thrusters. 

More Information

 

Christopher Roper

Christopher (Chris) Roper (US citizen) graduated with B.S. degrees in Physics from the University of West Georgia and Mechanical Engineering from Kennesaw State with minors in Aerospace Engineering and Mathematics, respectively. He joined HPEPL as a graduate student in January 2019. His primary research interests include combining nuclear and electric propulsion technologies, supersonics, hypersonics, magnetoplasmadynamics, and plasma physics. Chris believes the high-power category of electromagnetic space propulsion will be pertinent to human space exploration missions beyond Low Earth Orbit and for rapid-transit science missions to deep space destinations.

More Information

Undergraduate Research Assistants

HPEPL graduate students rely on the support of highly-skilled undergraduates in advancing their research forward. Below are the active undergraduate teams supporting VTF-1 and VTF-2.

VTF-1

Evan Bloom

Maggie Stewart

Shanmurugan Selvamurugan

 

 

 

VTF-2

Jonathan Everett

Adrian Vicente La Lande

Luke Marino

Saba Shaik

 

Lab Alumni

"Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but perseverance." - Samuel Johnson

Arega Margousian, BS

BUSEK

 

Jacob Knott, BS

BUSEK

 

Nicholas Branch, MS

Aerojet Rocketdyne

 

Connie Liu, Ph.D.

SpaceX

 

Hisham Ali, Ph.D.

Georgia Tech

 

Jason Frieman, Ph.D.

NASA Glenn Research Center

 

Jonathan Walker, Ph.D.

ASML

 

Aaron Schinder, Ph.D.

Lockheed Martin - Skunk Works

 

Tyler Scogin, MS

NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

 

Natalie (Schloeder) Caruso, Ph.D.

Northrop Grumman

 

Samuel Langendorf, Ph.D.

Los Alamos National Laboratory

 

Carl Book, MS

Lam Research

 

Lake Singh, Ph.D.

The Aerospace Corporation

 

Logan Williams, Ph.D.

Naval Research Laboratory

 

Brian Fein, MS

Independent Consultant

 

Sebastiano Giannelli, MS

CERN

 

Sherrie Hall, MS

MIT

 

Rafael Martinez, MS

Apollo Fusion

 

Cheong Chan, MS

Northrop Grumman

 

Brandon Sforzo, Ph.D. (postdoc)

Argonne National Laboratory

 

Nils Gerrit Kottke, MS

TU Braunschweig, Germany

 

Howell Hsieh, MS

U.S. Air Force

 

Alex Kieckhafer, Ph.D. (postdoc)

Zinn Technologies

 

Greg McCormick, MS

Georgia Tech Research Institute

 

Doug Palmer, MS

Booz Allen Hamilton

 

Brandon Sforzo, Ph.D. (postdoc)

Argonne National Laboratory

 

Gabriella Possa, MS

Associate Professor, University of Brasilia

 

Kunning Xu, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, University of Alabama Huntsville

 

Kybeom Kwon, Ph.D.

Republic of Korea Air Force Academy

 

Hoang Dao, MS

Aerojet Rocketdyne

 

Mason Freeman, MS

SpaceX

 

Sean Barnes, MS

Netflix

 

Chenhoe Bae, MS

National Fusion Research Institute, South Korea