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Prof. Mitchell Walker

Prof. Mitchell Walker

Laboratory Director

Graduate Students

Ethan Hopping

Ethan Hopping

NSTRF Fellow

Ethan Hopping 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.

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Naia Butler-Craig

Naia Butler-Craig

Graduate Research Assistant

Naia Butler-Craig 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.

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Christopher Roper

Christopher (Chris) Roper 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.

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David Gomez

David Gomez

NSTRF Fellow

David Gomez received a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Techn with highest honors in May 2018 and joined HPEPL as a graduate student in August 2018. His primary research interests are in physics, electric propulsion manufacturability, and facility automation. David is very excited about the prospects of human exploration of the solar system and hopes to be a part of the generation that takes us there.

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Sara Miller

Sara Miller

NSF Fellow

Sara Miller received a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering with high honors from Georgia Tech in December 2017 and joined HPEPL as a graduate student in August 2018. Her primary research interests lie in plasma-surface interactions and the development of high thrust-to-power ratio devices. Sara believes that electric propulsion is on the critical path to the future of deep space exploration and is excited to be a part of the coming wave of innovation.

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Nathan Brown

Nathan Brown

NSF Fellow

Nathan 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. 

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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.

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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.

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Scott King

Scott King

Graduate Research Assistant

Scott 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. 

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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

Matt Corrado

Muhannad Eladl 

Arega Margousian

 

VTF-2

Wyatt Amacker

Jonathan Everett

Adrian Vicente La Lande

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.

Naval Research Laboratory

 

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

SpaceX

 

Cheong Chan, MS

Orbital ATK

 

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

University of Brasilia

 

Kunning Xu, Ph.D.

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

University of Maryland

 

Chenhoe Bae, MS

National Fusion Research Institute, South Korea