Alumni & Former Faculty

Faculty

Dr. JP Sheehan

Dr. JP Sheehan

Research Scientist

J. P. received his bachelor’s degree in Engineering Physics in 2009 and his Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics in 2012 from the University of Wisconsin – Madison (UW). At UW he studied the plasma sheath surrounding electron emitting surfaces, particularly as applied to emissive probe measurements of the plasma potential, through both theory and experiment. While at the University of Michigan, he worked on developing the CubeSat Ambipolar Thruster, a miniature plasma thruster for small satellites, and investigating the basic physics of plasma in converging/diverging magnetic nozzles.

Dr. Ben Longmier

Dr. Ben Longmier

Adjunct Professor

Dr. Ben Longmier was an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan. He worked on developing the next generation of advanced thrusters from 10W to 200kW to enable wide access to remote destinations within the solar system. To enable this, his research interests center on electric propulsion, spacecraft and aerostat design, low temperature plasma physics, plasma materials interaction, and plasma diagnostics. Prior to coming to UM he served as the Principal Research Scientist at Ad Astra Rocket Company, and was responsible for developing experiment campaigns and new plasma diagnostics appropriate for high power engine and exhaust plume testing. He has served as PI and project manager for six NASA microgravity spacecraft technology development programs over the past eight years with six cumulative hours in microgravity. He earned his PhD in Engineering Physics in 2007 from the University of Wisconsin under Noah Hershkowitz, and then completed a postdoctoral fellowship with NASA and the University of Houston. In 2011, he was appointed Chair of the new American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics National Educator Academy-High Altitude Balloon Program to enhance student aerospace education nationwide.

Graduated PhD Students

Dr. Scott Hall

Dr. Scott Hall

2017

thesis: Characterization of a 100-kW Class Nested-Channel Hall Thruster
status: Engineer at Glenn Research Center via Vantage Partners LLC
email: sjhall@umich

Dr. Frans Ebersohn

Dr. Frans Ebersohn

2016

thesis: Kinetic Method for Quasi-One-Dimensional Simulation of Magnetic Nozzle Plasmadynamics
status: Aerospace Engineer, Lockheed Martin – Skunk Works
email: ebersohn@umich

Dr. Christopher Durot

Dr. Christopher Durot

2016

thesis: Development of a Time-Resolved Laser-Induced Fluorescence Technique for Nonperiodic Oscillations
status:
email: durot@umich.edu

Dr. Michael Sekerak

Dr. Michael Sekerak

2014

thesis: Plasma Oscillations and Operational Modes in Hall Effect Thrusters
status: Spacecraft and Mission Systems Engineer, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD
email: msekerak@umich.edu

Dr. Roland Florenz

Dr. Roland Florenz

2014

thesis: The X3 100-kW Class Nested-Channel Hall Thruster: Motivation, Implementation, and Initial Performance
status: United States Marine Corps
email: rflorenz@umich.edu

Dr. Raymond Liang

Dr. Raymond Liang

2013

thesis: The Combination of Two Concentric Discharge Channels into a Nested Hall-Effect Thruster
status: Contamination Modeling Scientist, The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD
email: Ray.Liang@jhuapl.edu

Dr. Adam Shabshelowitz

Dr. Adam Shabshelowitz

2013

thesis: Study of RF Plasma Technology Applied to Air-Breathing Electric Propulsion
status: Member of the Technical Staff, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington, MA
email: shab@umich.edu

Dr. Laura Spencer

Dr. Laura Spencer

2012

thesis: The Study of CO2 Conversion in a Microwave Plasma/Catalyst System
status: Program Manager, Federal-Mogul Corporation
email: l.f.spencer0@gmail.com

Dr. Michael McDonald

Dr. Michael McDonald

2012

thesis: Electron Transport in Hall Thrusters
status: Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC
email: msmcdon@umich.edu

Dr. Wensheng Huang

Dr. Wensheng Huang

2011

thesis: Study of Hall Thruster Discharge Channel Wall Erosion via Optical Diagnostics
status: Research Engineer in electric propulsion, NASA Glenn Research Center
email: wensheng.huang@nasa.gov

Dr. Ricky Tang

Dr. Ricky Tang

2011

thesis: Study of the Gasdynamic Mirror (GDM) Propulsion System
status: Air Force Research Laboratory (Wright Patterson AFB)
email: tangr@umich.edu

Dr. Rohit Shastry

Dr. Rohit Shastry

2010

thesis: Experimental Characterization of the Near-Wall Region in Hall Thrusters and its Implications on Performance and Lifetime
status: Research Engineer in electric propulsion, NASA Glenn Research Center
email: rohit.shastry@nasa.gov

Dr. Thomas M. Liu

Dr. Thomas M. Liu

2010

thesis: The Design Space of a Micro/Nano-Particle Electrostatic Propulsion System
status: Research Engineer, HPEPL, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA
email: thomas.liu@aerospace.gatech.edu

Dr. Robert B. Lobbia

Dr. Robert B. Lobbia

2010

thesis: A Time-resolved Investigation of the Hall Thruster Breathing Mode
status: Research Scientist in electric propulsion, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA
email: Robert.B.Lobbia@jpl.nasa.gov

Dr. Baïlo Bah Ngom

Dr. Baïlo Bah Ngom

2009

thesis: Magnetic Field Simulation and Mapping Based on Zeeman-Split Laser-Induced Fluorescence Spectra of Xenon in the Discharge Channel of 5-6 kW Co-Axial Stationary-Plasma Hall Thrusters
status:
email: bbahn@umich.edu

Dr. Sonca Nguyen

Dr. Sonca Nguyen

2009

thesis: Hydrogen Production in a Radio-Frequency Plasma Source Operating on Water Vapor
status: Systems Engineer, Waymo, Mountain View, CA
email: sonca@umich.edu

Dr. Daniel L. Brown

Dr. Daniel L. Brown

2009

thesis: Investigation of Low Discharge Voltage Hall Thruster Characteristics and Evaluation of Loss Mechanisms
status: Air Force Research Laboratory (Edwards AFB)
email: daniel.brown.50@us.af.mil

Dr. Kristina Lemmer

Dr. Kristina Lemmer

2009

thesis: Use of a Helicon Source for Development of a Re-Entry Blackout Amelioration System
status: Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, Western Michigan University
email: kristina.lemmer@wmich.edu
website: http://kristinalemmer.wixsite.com/alpe

Dr. Bryan M. Reid

Dr. Bryan M. Reid

2009

thesis: The Influence of Neutral Flow Rate in the Operation of Hall Thrusters
status: Member of the Technical Staff, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington, MA
email: bmreid@gmail.com

Dr. David E. Kirtley

Dr. David E. Kirtley

2008

thesis: Study of the Synchronous Operation of an Annular Field Reversed Configuration Plasma Device
status: Founder and CEO of Helion Energy
email: dkirtley@msnwllc.com

Dr. Prashant R. Patel

Dr. Prashant R. Patel

2008

thesis: Automating Interplanetary Trajectory Generation for Electric Propulsion Trade Studies
status: Research Staff Member at the Institute for Defense Analyses, Washington DC
email: ppatel@ida.org

Dr. Jesse A. Linnell

Dr. Jesse A. Linnell

2007

thesis: An Evaluation of Krypton Propellant in Hall Thrusters
status: Member of the Technical Staff, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington, MA
email: jesse.linnell@gmail.com

Dr. Allen L. Victor

Dr. Allen L. Victor

2006

thesis: Design and Utilization of a Top Hat Analyzer for Hall Thruster Plume Diagnostics
status: Member of the Technical Staff, Aerospace Corporation, Los Angeles, CA
email: allen.victor@aero.org

Dr. Joshua L. Rovey

Dr. Joshua L. Rovey

2005

thesis: A Multiple-Cathode, High-Power, Rectangular Ion Thruster Discharge Chamber for Increasing Thruster Lifetime
status: Associate Professor of Aerospace Engineering, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
email: rovey@illinois.edu
website: http://eplab.ae.illinois.edu/

Dr. Daniel A. Herman

Dr. Daniel A. Herman

2005

thesis: The Use of Electrostatic Probes to Characterize the Discharge Plasma Structure and Identify Discharge Cathode Erosion Mechanisms in Ring-Cusp Ion Thrusters
status: Research Scientist in electric propulsion, NASA Glenn Research Center
email: Daniel.A.Herman@grc.nasa.gov

Dr. Mitchell L.R. Walker

Dr. Mitchell L.R. Walker

2005

thesis: Effects of Facility Backpressure on the Performance and Plume of a Hall Thruster
status: Associate Professor of Aerospace Engineering and Director of HPEPL, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA
email: mitchell.walker@ae.gatech.edu
website: http://hpepl.ae.gatech.edu/

Dr. Peter Y. Peterson

Dr. Peter Y. Peterson

2004

thesis: The Development and Characterization of a Two-Stage Hybrid Hall/Ion Thruster
status: Engineer in Electric Propulsion, NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH
email: peter.peterson@aerojet.com

Dr. Richard R. Hofer

Dr. Richard R. Hofer

2004

thesis: Development and Characterization of High-Efficiency, High Specific Impulse Xenon Hall Thrusters
status: Electric propulsion group supervisor, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
email: Richard.R.Hofer@jpl.nasa.gov

Dr. Brian E. Beal

Dr. Brian E. Beal

2004

thesis: Clustering of Hall Effect Thruster for High-Power Electric Propulsion
status: Air Force Research Laboratory (Wright-Patterson AFB)
email: brian.beal.1@us.af.mil

Dr. Tim B. Smith

Dr. Tim B. Smith

2002

thesis: Deconvolution of Ion Velocity Distributions from Laser Induced Fluorescence Spectra of Xenon Electrostatic Thruster Plumes
status: University of Michigan Department of Aerospace Engineering Lecturer (above) & Technical Specialist in Electric Propulsion, Electrodynamic Applications, Inc
email: timsmith@umich.edu

Dr. James M. Haas

Dr. James M. Haas

2001

thesis: Low-Perturbation Interrogation of the Internal and Near-field Plasma Structure of a Hall Thruster using a High-Speed Probe Positioning System
status: Flight Systems Integration Branch, Air Force Research Laboratory (Wright-Patterson AFB)
email: james.haas.3@us.af.mil

Dr. George J. Williams, Jr.

Dr. George J. Williams, Jr.

2000

thesis: The Use of Laser-Induced Fluorescence to Characterize Discharge Cathode Erosion in a 30 cm Ring-Cusp Ion Thruster
status: Research Scientist in electric propulsion, NASA Glenn Research Center
email:

Dr. M.T. Domonkos

Dr. M.T. Domonkos

1999

thesis: Evaluation of Low-Current Orificed Hollow Cathodes
status: Research Scientist in directed energy, Air Force Research Laboratory (Kirtland AFB)
email: matt.domonkos@gmail.com

Dr. Jonathan L. Van Noord

Dr. Jonathan L. Van Noord

1999

thesis: Thermal Model of an Ion Thruster
status: Lead Mechanical Engineer in Research, Space Physics Research Laboratory, University of Michigan
email: noord@umich.edu

Dr. Frank S. Gulczinski, III

Dr. Frank S. Gulczinski, III

1999

thesis: Examination of the Structure and Evolution of Ion Energy Properties of a 5 kW Class Laboratory Hall Effect Thruster at Various Operational Conditions
status: Assistant Chief Scientist for the Aerospace Systems Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory (Wright Patterson AFB)
email: frank.gulczinski@us.af.mil

Dr. Sang-Wook Kim

Dr. Sang-Wook Kim

1999

thesis: Experimental Investigations of Plasma Parameters and Species-Dependent Ion Energy Distribution in the Plasma Exhaust Plume of a Hall Thruster
status: Chief Engineer in electric propulsion, Advanced Technology Institute, Japan
email: Sang-Wook.Kim@ge.com

Dr. Colleen M. Marrese-Reading

Dr. Colleen M. Marrese-Reading

1999

thesis: Compatibility of Field Emission Cathodes and Electric Propulsion Technologies; Theoretical and Experimental Performance Evaluations and Cathode Requirements
status: Research Scientist in electric propulsion, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
email: Colleen.Marrese@jpl.nasa.gov

Dr. Lyon B. King

Dr. Lyon B. King

1998

thesis: Transport-Property and Mass Spectral Measurements in the Plasma Exhaust Plume of a Hall-Effect Space Propulsion System
status: Ron & Elaine Starr Professor in Space Systems Engineering and Director of Ion Space Propulsion (ISP) laboratory, Michigan Technical University
email: lbking@mtu.edu
website: http://www.me.mtu.edu/researchAreas/isp/

Dr. John E. Foster

Dr. John E. Foster

1996

thesis: An Investigation of the Influence of a Transverse Magnetic Field on the Formation of Large Anode Fall Voltages in Low-Pressure Arcs
status: Professor of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences, University of Michigan
email: jefoster@umich.edu
website: https://pstlab.engin.umich.edu/

Graduated Masters Students

I. Goglio

September 2012 – August 2014
research topic: Cubesat Ambipolar Thruster experiment
status: Researcher at Los Al

C. Bellant

2009-2013
research topic: Plasma/material interactions
status: Advanced Flight Planner

Y. Li

2006-2007
research topic: Numerical Simulation of Hall Thruster Anode Injection, NanoFET PIC Modeling
status: engineer at Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), Hawthorne, CA

L. Gritter

2003-2005
research topic: Plasma-wind tunnel measurements for the NASA SVETI project
status: engineer at Accurate Automation Corporation, Chattanooga, TN

T. Stindl

2003
research topic: Plasma temperature and number density measurements in the plume of a high-power Hall thruster plume
status:

L. Talerico

2002-2003
research topic: Supporting plasma-wind tunnel tests on the NASA URETI project
status: development engineer at Aerojet’s Electric Propulsion Center in Redmond, WA

D. McFarlane

2002-2003
research topic: Supporting tests to make internal ion engine
status: engineer in a general aviation aircraft parts supplier

L. Craig

2000-2001
research topic: ExB probe operations
status: engineer in the NASA Mars exploration program, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

S. Malone

1997-1998
research topic: Development of a neutral particle flux probe for Hall thruster plume characterization
status: research and development engineer in electric propulsion, NASA Glenn Research Center

N. Majumdar

1996-1997
research topic: Development of a single-aperture retarding potential analyzer for Hall thruster plume characterization
status: engineer at Space Systems/Loral working on electric propulsion

M. Reichenbacher

1992-1997
research topic: End-Hall thruster plume diagnostics
status: engineer at Detroit Diesel Corporation

J. Spieth

1992-1993
research topic: Arcjet performance measurements
status: engineer at the Boeing Airplane Company

D. Rudra

1992-1993
research topic: Thrust measurement of electric thrusters
status: engineer at the Daimler-Chrysler Company

C. Clauss

1991-1993
research topic: Arcjet operations & PEPL build-up
status: electric propulsion engineer at the Atlantic Research Corporation