Laboratory Director

Dr. Xu

Dr. Xu is an Associate Professor in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Aerospace Engineering. His research has included electric propulsion for spacecrafts, basic plasma science, RF plasma sources, atmospheric pressure microplasmas, plasma biological treatment, plasma assisted combustion, and rotating detonation engines. Dr. Xu is an Associate Fellow of AIAA, and member of IEEE, and APS. 




Bhagirath Ghimire, Ph.D.

bhagirath ghimire

Dr. Ghimire is a Principle Research Scientist I at PERL focusing on atmospheric pressure plasmas, biological applications of plasmas, and plasma surface interactions. He received his BS and MS in Physics from Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal, and a Ph.D. in Low Temperature Plasmas from Kwangwoon University, Seoul, South Korea. Prior to coming to PERL, Dr. Ghimire was a Senoir Research Associate at Lancaster University in the UK where he conducted research on use of APPs on sterilization of bacteria and viruses. At PERL, he leads the APP research effort and works with collaborators in biology, agricultural science, food science, physics, and chemistry to study different biological and terrestial applications of APPs.


Yunping Zhang, Ph.D.

yunping zhang prc

Dr. Zhang is a Post Doctoral Researcher at PERL focusing on laser induced plasma and interaction with high velocity plasma jets. She received her BE from Beihang University, Beijing, China in Aircraft Design and Engineering, and her MS and Ph.D. from Purdue University. Her Ph.D. focused on studies of micro-electric proplusion ignitor system.



Ruthie Hill

photo of Ruthie HillMs. Hill is a Research Engineer I at PERL focusing on solid fueled rotating detonation engine ramjet. She obtained her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 2021 from University of South Alabama. She is currently purusing her MS in aerospace at UAH on the study of swirl injectors for RDEs.



Graduate Students

Andrew Walsten

andrew walstenAndrew obtained dual B.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Physics from Kansas State University. He has conducted research on a high pressure microplasma source for diode pumped rare gas lasers, and is currently studying a microplasma source for miniature electric propulsion for his PhD.



Zachary White

zachary whiteZachary obtained his B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Mississippi State University. He is an NSTRF Fellow conducting his PhD research on magnetic nozzles for pulsed fusion propulsion. He has also worked on plasma striations and laser collision induced fluorescence.



Michaela Hemming

michaela spaulding

Michaela graduated with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Iowa State University and M.S. in Aerospace Systems Engineering From UAH. She is a NASA NSTGRO fellow conducting her PhD research on liquid-gas injectors for rotating detonation rocket engines.



Nageshwar Nagarajan

nageshwar nagarajanNageshwar received his undergraduate degree in Aerospace Engineering from SASTRA Deemed University in 2019, and his M.S. in Aerospace Systems Engineering from UAH. His M.S. thesis research focused on studying multi-ring microwave resonators for miniature electric propulsion. His PhD research focuses on atmospheric pressure plasma physics for material and biological applications.


Ian Wagner

photo of Ian WagnerIan graduated with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Penn State University in 2021. His research focuses on plasma and advanced space propulsion, more specifically experimental study of power generating magnetic nozzles using flux compression.



Garrett Cobb

photo of Garrett CobbGarrett graduated in 2021 from University of Wisconsin with a B.S. in Engineering Mechanics with a concentration in Aerospace Engineering. His current projects involve the design, modeling, and testing of fluidic diode rocket injectors.



Neil Laya

neil laya Neil graduated in 2022 with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from UAH where he conducted undergraduate reesarch at PERL on split ring resonator plasmas. He is an Alabama Space Grant Graduate Fellow and his graduate research focuses on lab scale experimental magnetic reconnection propulsion.


Email: npl0004@uah.ed

Undergraduate Student Researchers

Jared Sauer - injector manifold design

Khadija Jalloul - injector testing

Tetiana Tymoshevska - coaxial plasma gun

Cassandra Phoenix - RDE injectors



Dr. Ryan Gott (Ph.D. 2020) - NASA Kennedy

Dr. Roberto Dextre (Ph.D. 2018) - Lockheed Martin


William Bickett (M.S. 2019) - GuideTech

Paulo Salvador (M.S. 2017) - Blue Origin

Ethan Hopping (M.S. 2017) - Graduate school at Georgia Institute of Technology

Steven Doyle (M.S. 2017) - Cooper Medical School at Rowan University 

Stewart Jacobs (M.S.2016 ) - Bastion Technologies 

Lindsey Blair (M.S. 2016) - Jacobs

Wade Harlow (M.S. 2015) - Northrup Grumman


Jayashree Paudel (B.S. 2023)

Nao Murata (B.S. 2023)

Josie Hodges (B.S. 2023)

Sydney Miller (B.S. 2023) -

Allison Lenz (B.S. 2022) - Rubicon Space Systems

Declan Brick (B.S. 2022) - Graduate school at University of Michigan

Brandon Williams

Manvith Amara (B.S. 2022) - Northrup Grumman

Brandon Stanton (B.S. 2022) - Corvid Technologies

Natalie Mann (B.S. 2020) - Graduate school at Arizona State University

Ward Manneschmidt (B.S. 2020) - Graduate school at UAH

Noah Naden (B.S. 2020) - Blue Origin

Noah Latham (B.S. 2020) - Graduate school at UAH

Ryota Nakano (B.S. 2019) - Graduate school at Auburn University

Toyofumi Yamauchi (B.S. 2019) - Graduate school at University of Illinois

Bradley Henderson (B.S. 2017) - IERUS Technologies

Allison Luther (B.S. 2016)  - Boeing

Brittani Searcy (B.S. 2016) - Jacobs

Katy Kolasinski (B.S. 2015) - Raytheon