Personnel

You will find here the list of active members of the EPPDyL. Past members and their last known whereabouts can be found here.

Faculty

Edgar Choueiri

Education
  • Ph.D. - Princeton University, 1991
Office
Engineering Quadrangle

D432

Biography

Edgar Choueiri is Chief Scientist and Director at EPPDyL. He is tenured Professor in the Applied Physics Group in the MAE Department and Associated Faculty at the Astrophysical Sciences Department/Program in Plasma Physics. He is also member of the Engineering Physics Program at Princeton. Prof. Choueiri is the author of numerous papers on plasma physics, instabilities and turbulence in collisional plasmas, plasma accelerator modeling, space physics and applied mathematics.

Prof. Choueiri is the author of more than 140 journal articles, conference papers and encyclopedia articles on advanced space propulsion, plasma physics, instabilities and turbulence in collisional plasmas, plasma accelerator propulsion, space physics and applied mathematics. He has been an invited speaker on more than 50 occasions at symposia and leading institutions in the USA, Russia, China, Japan, Poland, Lebanon, Turkey, UAE, Brazil and many countries in Western Europe. He was Chair of AIAA's Electric Propulsion Technical Committee (EPTC) from 2002 to 2004 and is the present President of the Electric Rocket Propulsion Society, whose members include hundreds of scientists working on plasma propulsion for spacecraft in more than 15 countries. He is currently Principal Investigator (PI) on three government-funded research projects at EPPDyL, was the PI on more than 25 research projects funded by NASA, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the National Science Foundation, and has been PI and Co-PI on two space experiments and was selected by NASA in 2004 to lead a team of NASA and academic researchers on a 3-year project to develop a high-power plasma rocket system for the robotic and human exploration of the Moon and Mars.

He has advised more than a hundred students at Princeton University, currently advises 6 PhD students, and has graduated 10 PhD students, 8 of whom are currently working as research scientists in plasma physics or space propulsion.

He has developed new courses at Princeton in astronautics, applied physics and advanced space propulsion.

Prof. Choueiri's publication list can be found here

Robert "Bob" Jahn

Office
Engineering Quadrangle

D332

Biography

Professor Jahn is Dean Emeritus of the School of Engineering and Applied Science. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and has been chairman of the AIAA Electric Propulsion Technical Committee, associate editor of the AIAA Journal, and a member of the NASA Space Science and Technology Advisory Committee. He is vice President of the Society for Scientific Exploration and President of the International Consciousness Research Laboratories consortium. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Hercules, Inc. and chairman of its Technology Committee, and has been a member and past chairman of the Board of Trustees of Associated Universities, Inc. He has received the Curtis W. McGraw Research Award of the American Society of Engineering Education and holds an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Andrha University.

Graduate Students

Christopher Wordingham

Education
  • B.S.E., Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Alabama Huntsville, 2012
Office
Engineering Quadrangle

G04B

Resume

Biography

While originally from California, I spent the majority of my life in the mountains of North Carolina and graduated with a BSE in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. I have been interested in space propulsion for longer than I can remember, and the elegance and utility of electric propulsion brought me to Princeton University following my work at ESI Group as a cooperative education student and at Jet Propulsion Laboratory as a Space Grant intern.

Will Coogan

Education
  • B.S. Physics, Indiana University, 2013
  • M.Mus. Computer Music Composition, Indiana University, 2011
  • M.Mus. Music Composition, Western Washington University, 2008
  • B.Mus. Music Composition, Western Washington University, 2007
Office
Engineering Quadrangle

G04A

Resume

Biography

I graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Physics in 2013. Previously, I had studied music at Jacobs School of Music and worked as a carpenter.

Research Interests

I am researching the thrust generation mechanisms for applied-field Lorentz force accelerators (LFAs). I have implemented two new diagnostics which are helping to explain how the magnetic nozzle on this thruster generates thrust. The first of these is a thrust stand supporting only the magnetic nozzle, so that I can make an isolated measurement of the thrust component generated by the applied magnetic field. This diagnostic has already shown that this thrust component is sensitive to mass flow rate in some regimes, which is not predicted by most thrust models. Specifically, we have shown that the effective volume over which the Lorentz force acts is determined by the ratio of the gasdynamic to magnetic pressure and the topology of the magnetic field with respect to the contour of the physical nozzle (the anode in this case).

In addition, I developed the dynamic resistance probe, which measures the rate of propellant condensation in the plume of alkali metal-fed thrusters. This probe can be used to measure the divergence of the plume.

Media:

Publications:

Sebastián Rojas Mata

Education
  • B.S. Mechanical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, 2013
Office
Engineering Quadrangle

G04

Resume

Biography

Originally from Escazú, Costa Rica, I earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Caltech in 2013 with an emphasis on fluids and combustion. I then moved to Princeton to pursue a PhD degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, concentrating on electric propulsion. Initially interested in compressible and reacting flows, adding electric propulsion to the mix consolidated my overall interest in space propulsion.

Research Interests

My research involves developing numerical and experimental tools to characterize plasma dispersion relations in plasma thrusters. The dispersion relation is a mathematical function derived from physical plasma models which contains information on plasma waves and instabilities that may arise in a plasma discharge. Previously I developed a software tool called PRINCE which can be used to conduct numerical characterizations of dispersion relations given input data from users. Currently I am working on a diagnostic to carry out similar experimental characterizations by actively injecting waves into a plasma discharge and conducting spectral analysis of the resulting time-dependent plasma density.

Pierre-Yves Taunay

Education
  • M.S. Aerospace Engineering - Penn State University, 2012
  • Diplome d'Ingénieur - Ecole Centrale de Nantes, 2012
Office
Engineering Quadrangle

G04B

Biography

I am originally from Roanne, France. I received a Master in General Engineering from the Ecole Centrale de Nantes, as well as a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from Penn State University after studying a miniature microwave ion thruster. After working for two years at the Institute of Cyberscience as a Software Engineer at Penn State, I decided to pursue a Ph.D. degree at Princeton in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

Research Interests

I am currently involved with the development of high-current hollow cathodes for next-generation plasma thrusters. I am studying global scaling relationships for hollow cathodes and I am working with Chris Wordingham on theoretical understanding of the mechanisms driving the attachment length of the plasma inside a hollow cathode. I previously worked on the RF-CHC, a concept used to control the plasma attachment length.

Undergraduate Students

Jordan Brown

Education
  • B.S. Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering - Princeton University, 2018
Office
Engineering Quadrangle

G04

Biography

Originally from a cornfield in southeastern Indiana, its hard to imagine how I ended up at Princeton University. Growing up my dad and I shared an interest in sci-fi, which in turn sparked a passion for spaceflight and the sciences. I am currently studying Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, with a certificate in engineering physics.

My past summers have been spent doing materials research in Germany and doing service projects in Kenya, and I am now excited to be doing plasma research here at Princeton.