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  • Specializations and Research Interests click to expand tab

    Dr. Walker’s primary research interests lie in electric propulsion, plasma physics, and hypersonic aerodynamics/plasma interaction. He has extensive design and testing experience with Hall thrusters and ion engines. Dr. Walker performed seminal work in Hall thruster clustering and vacuum chamber facility effects. His current research activities involve both theoretical and experimental work in advanced spacecraft propulsion systems, diagnostics, plasma physics, helicon plasma sources, space debris mitigation, magnetoplasmadynamic thrusters, and pulsed inductive thrusters. Dr. Walker also serves as a corporate consultant around his area of expertise in top-tier organizations, e.g., Newell-Rubbermaid, Lockheed Martin, and NASA.

  • Education click to expand tab

    Ph.D. 2004 University of Michigan
    M.S.E. 2000 University of Michigan
    B.S.E. 1999 University of Michigan

  • Positions Held at Georgia Tech click to expand tab

    High-Power Electric Propulsion Laboratory

    Assistant Professor of Aerospace Engineering 2005 - 2011
    Associate Professor of Aerospace Engineering 2011 - present
    Head of the High-Power Electric Propulsion Laboratory

  • Teaching click to expand tab

    Course List
    Low-speed Aerodynamics (AE 2020)
    Experimental Fluid Dynamics (AE 3051)
    Thermodynamics and Compressible Flow (AE 3450)
    Technical Writing (AE 3801)
    Jet and Rocket Propulsion (AE 4451)
    Gasdynamics (AE 6050)
    Rockets (AE 6450)
    Electric Propulsion (AE 6451)

  • Honors and Awards click to expand tab

    AIAA Science and Technology (SCITECH) Forum

    National Academy of Engineering US Frontiers of Engineering Symposium, 2014
    Lawrence Sperry Award, 2010
    AFOSR Young Investigator Program Award, 2006
    NASA Faculty Fellow, 2005
    Class of 1969 Teaching Fellow, 2005
    Arnold M. Kuethe Aerospace Engineering Fellowship, 2004
    MEPO Academic Achievement Award, University of Michigan, 2001
    Michigan Space Grant Consortium Graduate Fellowship, 2001, 2003
    Rackham Merit Fellowship, University of Michigan (NSF sponsored), 2000
    GEM Fellowship, 1999
    Aerospace Engineering Distinguished Achievement Award, University of Michigan, 1998

  • Service click to expand tab

    33rd International Electric Propulsion Conference

    National Academy Committees:
    National Research Council Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board Committee
    Committee to Review the Air Force Reusable Booster System Study, 2011-2012

    National Committees:
    NASA International Space Station Electric Propulsion Testbed Study Committee, 2011
    National Institute for Rocket Propulsion Systems Solutions Provider Committee, 2011-Present

    Society Memberships:
    Associate Editor – AIAA Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets since 2015
    Member of AIAA - Associate Fellow (Electric Propulsion Technical Committee)
    American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)
    Electric Rocket Propulsion Society (ERPS)
    Sigma Gamma Tau
    Tau Beta Pi

  • Full Bio click to expand tab

    Dr. Mitchell Walker has over 15 years experience in the field of electric propulsion as a researcher, consultant, and innovator. He is a tenured Professor in the Georgia Institute of Technology School of Aerospace Engineering and has authored more than 80 technical publications in the field of electric propulsion. As director of the High-Power Electric Propulsion Laboratory, Dr. Walker leads a team of research engineers, post-doctoral students, and Ph.D. students in electric propulsion and advanced space propulsion research. Beyond his basic research program, Dr. Walker consults in the areas of electric propulsion system design, root cause on-orbit anomaly investigation, spacecraft integration, advanced propulsion technology evaluation, electric propulsion technology development roadmaps, vacuum technology, and the development and review of technical proposals.

    Dr. Walker performed seminal work in Hall thruster clustering and vacuum chamber facility effects and is renowned for his extensive design and testing experience with Hall thrusters and ion engines. His current research activities focus on both theoretical and experimental work in advanced spacecraft propulsion systems, diagnostics, plasma physics, helicon plasma sources, magnetoplasmadynamic thrusters, and pulsed inductive thrusters.

    For his research program, Dr. Walker has received numerous awards, including an AFOSR Young Investigator Program Award, the AIAA Lawrence Sperry Award, and selection as a NASA Faculty Fellow.

    Dr. Walker teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, high-temperature gasdynamics, and propulsion. In addition, he delivers professional short courses in electric propulsion and vacuum science. Dr. Walker was selected as a Class of 1969 Teaching Fellow.

    An Associate Fellow of AIAA, Dr. Walker serves as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets. His expertise in electric propulsion has proven invaluable to corporations, laboratories, and the Air Force. Consequently, he has served on the National Research Council Reusable Booster System Committee, the NASA Office of the Chief Technologist Advanced In-Space Propulsion Panel Review, and the NASA International Space Station Electric Propulsion Testbed Study Committee. Dr. Walker also serves on the National Institute for Rocket Propulsion Systems Technology Solutions Committee, the AIAA Electric Propulsion Technical Committee, and the Best Paper Award Subcommittee. He has also chaired the AIAA Electric Propulsion Subcommittee for Technical Achievement Award.

    Recognized as an innovator in electric propulsion, Dr. Walker holds patents for
    Dual Use Hydrazine Propulsion System
    Ion Focusing in a Hall Effect Thruster
    Cold Cathodes and Ion Thrusters and Methods of Making and Using Same

    Dr. Walker is consistently called upon to develop and implement training materials and courses for his clients to meet critical needs and deficiencies in their operations. Dr. Mitchell Walker is available for consultations, technical development, and strategic planning in the areas of spacecraft propulsion, plasma physics, and vacuum technology.