Minimum GPA: 3.5/4.0

Prof. Mitchell Walker – Associate Professor, Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering

Dr. Thomas Liu – Research Engineer II

Graduate Students:
Brown, Nathan – Graduate Research Assistant
Chan, Cheong – Graduate Research Assistant
Frieman, Jason – NSF Fellow
King, Scott – Graduate Research Assistant
Jovel, David – Aerospace Corporation Fellow
Liu, Connie – NSF Fellow

Grad/Undergrad RA:
Brown, Nathan
Calixtro, Carlos
Coffey, Andrew
Freedman, Mason
Ridderhoff, Jack
Whalen, Adam
Zhang, Phoebe
Past RA’s

Nathan Brown  Graduate Research Assistant

Nathan Brown
Nathan earned a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech with highest honors in May 2016 and joined HPEPL as a graduate research assistant in Fall 2016. In two years as an undergraduate research assistant with the lab, he co-authored publications on electrical facility effects, assisted in the qualification tests of multiple Hall thrusters for industry clients, developed HPEPL’s plasma diagnostic probe analysis software suite, and won a 2015 President’s Undergraduate Research Award. He has also helped test and manufacture gridded ion thrusters as an intern with L-3 Electron Technologies, Inc. and performed structural and thermal finite element analysis (FEA) on a variety of aerospace projects, including the NASA Space Launch System and James Webb Space Telescope, as a four term co-op student with ATA Engineering, Inc. Nathan believes electric propulsion holds the key to furthering human exploration of the universe; to that end, he is interested in plasma physics, advanced thruster concepts, and the application of FEA to Hall and ion thruster design.

Cheong Chan  Graduate Research Assistant

Cheong Chan

Cheong Chan is currently a graduate researcher at the HPEPL. He has interned at L-3 Communications where he supported testing of ion thrusters. Previously, he received a M.S. in Physics from Yale University where he worked topics ranging from fundamental physics measurements to fast image reconstruction algorithms. He interned at NASA Goddard as a data analyst for the Cassini Composite Infrared Spectrometer looking at the systematic noise sources. Cheong graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. Physics where he built a small atom trap and worked on optics with the Müller Group. Lastly, he worked on development of a solar flare detection algorithm for the Rhessi solar observatory at Space Sciences Lab in Berkeley.

Jason Frieman  NSF Fellow

Jason Frieman

Jason received a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering with highest honors from Georgia Tech in May 2012. He joined HPEPL as an undergraduate research assistant in 2010 and earned several accolades for his undergraduate work including the 2012 Aerospace Engineering Outstanding Senior Scholar Award, a 2012 President’s Undergraduate Research Award, and an Honorable Mention in the 2011 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship Competition. After an internship with SpaceWorks Engineering, he rejoined the lab as a NSF Fellow in August 2012 and is currently researching annular helicon closed drift thrusters as well as ionic liquid-based electric propulsion systems. Jason has also worked with the Georgia Tech Center for Space Systems since August 2011 as an attitude determination and control subsystem engineer, propulsion subsystem lead, project systems engineer, and student adviser for Prox-1, the winning microsatellite mission from the seventh iteration of the AFOSR and AFRL University Nanosat Program currently scheduled for launch in 2015. His interests are mainly in the fields of spacecraft engineering and EP system development.

David Jovel   Aerospace Corporation Fellow David Jovel


David_JovelDavid began his aerospace engineering career as an undergraduate student at the University of Texas at Austin. While there, David participated in various student-led CubeSat development projects and completed two internships at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. David earned a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering in 2011 and since then has made many contributions within the space industry through companies like Orbital ATK, Intelsat, and the Aerospace Corporation. He is determined in obtaining his doctorate in electric propulsion with a focus on 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. Most recently, David has helped mentor the H.D. Cooke Elementary’s robotics team in Washington D.C.

Scott King  Graduate Research Assistant

Scott received his BS in Aerospace Engineering with high honor from Georgia Tech in May 2008. He has worked in the High-Power Electric Propulsion Laboratory (HPEPL) since January 2008, and joined as a graduate student in May 2008. He is currently researching a low-Earth orbit ion engine and high T/P Hall Effect thrusters. His interests include plasma physics, RF plasmas, and hypersonic aerodynamics.

Dr. Thomas Liu Research Engineer II

Dr. Thomas Liu is a Research Engineer at Georgia Tech’s High-Power Electric Propulsion Laboratory (HPEPL). His research interests include advanced space propulsion, plasma physics, small satellite systems, and nano/micro-electromechanical systems. Dr. Liu received his Ph.D. degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan in 2010 for research on nanoparticle micropropulsion. Prior to joining HPEPL, he did post-doctoral work on high-power Hall thruster development and also worked as a Senior Engineer at ElectroDynamic Applications, Inc. on plasma technologies for aerospace, materials processing, and environmental sensing applications. Dr. Liu is a strong proponent for multidisciplinary design-build-test-fly education and has led or mentored nearly two dozen CanSat, BalloonSat, reduced gravity flight, CubeSat, and Space Shuttle Get-Away-Special student teams.

Connie Liu  NSF Fellow 

Connie Liu received a B.S. in Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in June 2015 and joined HPEPL as a graduate student in August 2015. Connie has worked on liquid rocket engines as a propulsion lead on the MIT Rocket Team, where she helped design, built, and test a bi-propellant liquid rocket engine with an aerospike nozzle, and as a propulsion intern for two summers at SpaceX working on the Raptor engine that is designed to take humans to Mars. She has also done some work with electric propulsion at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center to model and simulate the physics of a multi-coil coilgun as an advanced attitude control system and at the MIT Space Propulsion Laboratory working on the development of electrospray thrusters. Connie strongly believes in the necessity of advancing propulsion technologies to enable and expand human space exploration. Her interests include combining chemical and electric propulsion technologies to create new, more efficient propulsion systems, high power Hall thrusters, and spacecraft engineering.

Lab Alumni:

Tyler Scogin – Propulsion Vibroacoustics Engineer, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
Natalie (Schloeder) Caruso – Postdoc at Naval Research Laboratory
Sam Langendorf – Postdoc at Los Alamos National Laboratory
Carl Book – Manufacturing Manager, Lam Research
Brian Fein – Independant Consultant
Sherrie Hall – NSF Fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Howell Hsieh – Captain, United States Air Force
Alex Kieckhafer – Thermal Engineer, Zinn Technologies
Rafael Martinez – Electric Propulsion Development Engineer, SpaceX
Greg McCormick – Research Engineer II, Georgia Tech Research Institute
Doug Palmer – Senior Consultant, Booz Allen Hamilton
Gabriela Possa – Assistant Professor, University of Brasilia
Lake Singh – Technical Staff, The Aerospace Corporation
Logan Williams – Naval Research Laboratory
Kunning Xu – Professor of Aerospace Engineering, University of Alabama at Hunstville
Aaron Schinder – Propulsion Engineer, NASA Glenn Research Center
Jonathan Walker – Nuclear Fusion Engineer

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