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 post-doctoral researcher at PERL focusing on atmospheric pressure plasmas, biological applications of plasmas, and plasma surface interactions. He recieve 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.


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 ion engines 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. 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. His current research focuses on studying multi-ring microwave resonators for electric propulsion.




Ian Wagner

photo of Ian WagnerIan graduated with a BS in Aerospace Engineering from Penn State University in 2021. His research focuses on plasma and advanced space propulsion.




Ruthie Hill

photo of Ruthie HillRuthie obtained her BS in Mechanical Engineering in 2021 from University of South Alabama. She is currently conducting research in injector backflow from passing detonation waves using a linear detonation tube.




Garrett Cobb

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




Undergraduate Student Researchers

Neil Laya - miniature ion engines

Declan Brick - atmospheric pressure plasma jet modeling

Nao Murata - plasma jet interaction with magnetic fields

Josie Hodges - RDE injectors

Sydney Miller - 3D printing for small Hall thrusters

Jayashree Paudel - magnetic nozzle



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

Dr. Roberto Dextre (Ph.D. 2018) - Aerojet Rocketdyne

William Bickett (M.S. 2019) -Torch Technologies

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

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

Steven Doyle (M.S. 2017) - Attending 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

Brandon Williams

Manvith Amara

Brandon Stanton

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

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

Noah Naden (B.S. 2020) - Attending graduate school at UAH

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

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

Toyofumi Yamauchi (B.S. 2019) - Attending 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