About

Professor Benjamin A. Jorns


Dr. Benjamin Jorns is an assistant professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan. He received his B.S. in Physics from Yale and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Aerospace Engineering from Princeton. Prior to joining PEPL, Dr. Jorns was a member of the electric propulsion group at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California where his work combined experimental and analytical techniques to investigate propulsion systems for the next generation of NASA robotic missions. Dr. Jorns also held a lecturer appointment in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering department at UCLA from 2013-2015. His primary research interests include wear mechanisms and stability in electric propulsion systems, turbulence and nonlinear processes in low temperature plasmas, developing new plasma diagnostics, and investigating breakthrough forms of in-space propulsion. He has experience with several commercial and government-build plasma propulsion systems including high-current hollow cathodes, 1-10 kW class Hall thrusters, and low-TRL electrodeless thruster concepts. His work with electric propulsion technology has centered on developing first-principles understanding of their operating principles as well as implementing time-resolved and laser-based diagnostics to characterize behavior. Dr. Jorns is a senior member of the AIAA and serves on the Electric Propulsion Technical Committee. His previous work has been recognized through NASA Discovery, Voyager, and Mariner awards.