Personnel

Michael Keidar

Michael Keidar

Principal Investigator

Dr. Michael Keidar is A. James Clark Professor of Engineering. His research concerns advanced spacecraft propulsion, plasma-based nanotechnology, and plasma medicine. He has authored over 240 journal articles and author of textbook “Plasma Engineering: from Aerospace and Nano and Bio technology” (Elsevier, March 2013). He received 2017 Davidson award in plasma physics. In 2016 he was elected AIAA National Capital Section Engineer of the Year and in 2017 he received AIAA Engineer of the Year award for his work on micropropulsion resulted in successful launch of nanosatellite with thrusters developed by his laboratory. Many of his papers have been featured on the cover of high impact journals and his research has been covered by various media outlets. Prof. Keidar serves as an AIP Advances academic editor, Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions in Radiation and Plasma Medical Sciences and member of editorial board of half dozen of journals. He is Fellow of APS and Associate Fellow of AIAA.

Barry Trink

Barry Trink

Research Scientist

Dr. Barry Trink received his PhD from Bar Ilan University in Israel, with post doc training at Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada and Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, after which he received a faculty position there. His expertise is in cancer genetics and has cloned and researched a number of novel genes including protein kinases, an isoform of the p53 homologue, p63 and a potential new oncogene for bladder cancer, PIG-U. He has studied these and other related genes extensively in a number of cancers both in vitro and in vivo. Since 2007 he has collaborated with Dr. Keidar on the role of cold atmospheric plasma in cancer.

Irina Schweigert

Irina Schweigert

Research Scientist

Irina Schweigert is a research scientist at MpNL and the Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics SB RAS in Novosibirsk, Russia. She received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in physics from the Novosibirsk State University in 1981. She also received a Ph.D. in physics and mathematics in 1990. She has authored more than 90 scientific papers in major peer-reviewed journals, with over 70 first authorship in these publications. Her current research activity includes multidimensional simulations of all types of discharge plasmas in magnetic fields with kinetic effects. She is the creator and principal developer of 2D3V Particle-in-cell Monte Carlo algorithm code and 1D and 2D combined fluid codes (PIC+fluid) for discharge plasma simulations.

Carles Corbella

Carles Corbella

Postdoctoral Researcher

Carles Corbella got in 2006 his PhD in Applied Physics at the University of Barcelona, Spain. The topic was diamond-like carbon (DLC) and metal-DLC nanocomposite coatings grown by pulsed plasma techniques. In the meantime, he worked as research assistant in the sputtering laboratory of the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC). Next, Dr. Corbella performed a postdoctoral stage at the Fraunhofer IST in Braunschweig, Germany, to study the physics behind industrial-scale plasma reactors. In 2008, back in the Barcelona University, he investigated different paths to tune the surface properties of DLC-based films in view of their application as nanoimprint moulds. In the period 2011-2018, he worked as scientific researcher in the Reactive Plasmas Group (Experimentalphysik II) at the Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany. There, he studied elementary interactions between plasmas and surfaces by means of particle beam experiments to model surface processes in magnetized pulsed plasmas. Since April 2018, Dr. Corbella is appointed postdoctoral researcher at the Micropropulsion and Nanotechnology Laboratory to investigate the synthesis of nanomaterials by anodic arc discharge.

 Denis B. Zolotukhin

Denis B. Zolotukhin

Postdoctoral Researcher

Dr. Denis B. Zolotukhin is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at The George Washington University, and Research Fellow in the Department of Physics at Tomsk State University of Control Systems and Radioelectronics in Russia. In 2016, he received his PhD under the supervision of Professor Efim M. Oks at the Institute of High Current Electronics in the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. His research interests include plasma-cathode electron and ion sources, plasma diagnostics, plasma chemistry, deposition of coatings, and plasma propulsion. Denis is a co-author of more than 15 articles in international peer-reviewed journals, including 5 articles in which he has first authorship ( as of September 2017). He is a recipient of several prestigious scholarships of President of Russian Federation. In 2016, his research group in Tomsk was named "Leading Research Group of the Russian Federation".

Dayun Yan

Dayun Yan

Postdoctoral Researcher

Dr. Dayun Yan obtained his M.S degree (Mechanical Engineering) from Tsinghua University in China with an " Excellent Masters Dissertation" award. He obtained his Ph.D. degree (Mechanical Engineering) at the George Washington University in spring of 2016 under the supervision of Dr. Keidar. In August of 2016, Dayun started his postdoctoral training with Dr. Keidar. His research investigates methods which may fundamentally change the basic understanding of several key problems in plasma medicine. He is interested in the basic problems in plasma physics and plasma devices, which will facilitate the realization of a self-adaptive plasma platform. He conducted a large number of pioneering works on CAP-stimulated solutions (PSS). His papers own one of the highest citations records about PSS around the whole world. In 2016, he was selected as the discussion leader at the Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) for Plasma Processing Science. As of end of 2017, Dayun has published 27 peer-reviewed papers (17 papers with first authorships). 24 international journals ever invited him to be the peer-reviewers. He owned 400 citations on Google Scholar in just 3 years. He believes that the academic integrity is the prerequisite for any respected and successful scientists or students.

Keir Patrick Daniels

Keir Patrick Daniels

PhD Student

Keir’s current research focuses on enhancing the MicroCathode Arc Thrusters (uCAT) that can be used on CubeSats. Prior to this, Keir received a dual bachelors in physics and finance from Columbia University as well as a bachelors in biology from Pace University. He has also published his findings from research at Cornell University in Neuropharmacology and holds a patent pending on a wheel with a variable radius and tread firmness. Keir is a veteran, having served in the U.S. Coast Guard as an engineer and boarding officer, and has been a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) as well as the New York Science Academy. In addition to his research at George Washington University, Keir currently works part-time at BlackRock in financial risk analysis.

Eda Gjika

Eda Gjika

PhD Student

Eda graduated from the University of Southern Maine in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. Her undergraduate research focused on chemical synthesis of fluorescent organometallic compounds with potential applications as biochemiosensor. Prior to attending graduate school, she worked in R&D at IDEXX Laboratories re-designing immunological assays for disease detection in domestic animals. In 2012, she joined Dr. Samia Khoury’s laboratory at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Her project focused on developing biomarkers for investigating disease progression in Multiple Sclerosis (MS). In her PhD research, Eda is investigating adaptive properties of plasma and their role in tailoring plasma doses to treat cancers at various disease stages.

Samantha Hurley

Samantha Hurley

PhD Student

Samantha Hurley is a PhD candidate focusing in MicroCathode Arc Thruster (µCAT). She received her BS and MS from The George Washington University in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. In addition, she is a PATHWAYS intern at NASA Goddard working for the Satellite Servicing and Capabilities Office. She is designing a linear actuator system; this is a new version of the µCAT. The system replaces the spring-feed mechanism with a stepper motor to feed the cathode forward as it ablates. The motivation behind this change is that a longer cathode can be used in order to increase lifetime, there will be precision feeding via step control, an increase to the thrust over power ratio, and a magnetic coil is not necessary omitting any possibility of unwanted torque or interference with the satellite.

Sungrae Kim

Sungrae Kim

PhD Student

Sungrae received his Master’s degree in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering from The George Washington University. His research was focused on design of air-breathing hall-effect thrusters. As a PhD student, Sungrae is continuing his research of air-breathing hall-effect thrusters that could one day be used in the Martian atmosphere.

Jonathan Kolbeck

Jonathan Kolbeck

PhD Student

ResearchGate

Jonathan is working on a design of a micro-Newton thrust balance. This device will allow the team to fully characterize the µCAT device. He is also designing a next generation µCAT with ablatable anodes.

Li Lin

Li Lin

PhD Student

Li's research area is the physics of plasma. He is researching the behavior of cold atmospheric plasma (CAP) jet under different conditions. For example, He is examining how a CAP jet is affected by external electric fields, magnetic fields, and how it interacts with other objects such as nano particles. In a recent experiment, Li studied the CAP jet in an axial DC electric field. The electric field was generated by applying varying values of electric potential to a copper ring. Regarding plasma diagnostics, Li measured several quantities: (1) the electron density was measured using the Rayleigh Microwave Scattering (RMS) method, (2) the plasma bullet behavior was observed using an Intensified Charged-Coupled Device (ICCD) camera, and (3) the chemical species in the jet were identified by analyzing the jet spectra using a spectrometer.

Luis Martinez

Luis Martinez

PhD Student

Luis received his Master’s degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from The George Washington University in the Spring of 2016. He is currently building algorithms that can used to characterize plasmas found in vacuum arc-discharges, as well as those found in atmospheric conditions. Luis focuses on plasma physics theory and computational fluid dynamics simulations.

Ram Bandaru

Ram Bandaru

Assistant Researcher

Ram received his Master’s degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from The George Washington University in the Spring of 2017. His current research involves using micro-cathode arc thrusters to generate plasma and harvest charged particles. These charged particles can be used for alloy material three-dimensional printing.

Wenjun Xu

Wenjun Xu

Visiting Scholar

Wenjun Xu is a visiting scholar from Xi’an Jiaotong University. Her interest is effect of electromagnetic field on glioma cells and high voltage & high current measurement and control technology. She has performed the exposure experiment under magnetic fields with different parameters. The cell response to the parameters of the magnetic field has been acquired.

Yuanwei Lyu

Yuanwei Lyu

Visiting Scholar

Yuanwei is a visiting scholar in MpNL from 2017 to 2018. His visit is sponsored by the China Scholarship Council (CSC). At MpNL, he will work on the effect of plasma "bullet" over the flow field of single/multiple plasma jet and its impinging on cancer cells. Yuanwei is a PhD student at Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics in China, where he focuses on impinging heat transfer of steady jet, synthetic jet driven by Piezoelectric Ceramic, pulsed jet and hot plasma jet. He obtained a bachelor's and master's degree at Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics in 2013 and 2016, respectively.

Therese Suaris (Ph.D, 2011), “Dynamic mission modeling and simulations: application of micro-vacuum arc thrusters and frozen orbits”, now at NASA Goddard Space Center

Jarrod Fenstermacher (Ph.D, 2011), “Cryo-focusing Pyrolysis Gas Chemistry and the Influence of the Plasma Environment”,  now at Applied Physics Laboratory

Madhusudham Kundrapu (Ph.D, 2011), “Modeling and Simulation of Ablation-Controlled Plasmas”, now at TechX Corporation

Lubos Brieda (Ph.D, 2012), “Multi-scale simulation of Hall thrusters”, now at NASA Goddard Space Center and PIC-C LLC

Olga Volotskova (Ph.D, 2012), “Biomedical application of cold atmospheric plasmas: cell response”, now at New York University

Jian Li (Ph.D, 2012), “Synthesis, diagnostics and application of carbon nanostructures in arc discharge”, now at Globalfoundries Inc.

Taisen Zhuang (Ph.D, 2012), “Micro-cathode thrustrer for Cube satellite propulsion”, now at US Medical Innovations LLC

Tabitha Smith (Ph.D, 2014), “Ablation Study of Tungsten-Based Nuclear Thermal Rocket Fuel”, now at Wright Patterson AFB

David Scott (Ph. D, 2014), “Microwave diagnostics of atmospheric plasmas”, now at Westwood College, Lecturer

Joseph Lukas (Ph. D, 2015), “Enhancing Micro-Cathode Arc Thruster (mCAT) Plasma Generation to Analyze Magnetic Field Angle Effects on Sheath Formation in Hall Thrusters”, now at Institute for Defense Analysis

Joel Slotten (Ph. D, 2015), “Investigation of Orbital Debris: Mitigation, Removal, and Modeling the Debris Population”, Space Systems Engineer at SAIC

Dayun Yan (Ph.D, 2016), The Application of Cold Plasma-Stimulated Medium in Cancer Treatment”, now post-doc at the George Washington University

Xiaoqian Cheng (Ph.D, 2016), “Enhancing Cold Atmospheric Plasma Treatment Efficiency for Cancer Therapy”, now at USMI LLC

George Teel (Ph.D, 2017), “uCat Thruster Characterization”

Xiuqi Fang (Ph.D, 2017), “Synthesis and Diagnostic of Single and Multi-dimensional Nanomaterial in Arc Discharge Plasma”

Zhitong Chen (Ph.D, 2017), “Development of new cold atmospheric plasma devices and approaches”

Dr. Alex Shashurin (post-doc, 2007-2011, research scientist, 2011-2015)

Jinyue Geng (Ph.D student, China, November 2012-October 2013)

Kirk Woellert (research associate, 2011-2013)

Christian Karer (B.S. student, Germany, November 2012-February 2013)

Nina Racek (Ph.D student, Slovenia, September 2013-March 2014)

Dr. Ed Ratovitsky (September 2013-2015)

Fumihiro Inoue (Ph.D student, Japan, September 2014-January 2015)

Long Yu (Beihang University, October 2015-Oct 2016)

Simone Delaire (Research Scientist, France, September 2015-February 2016)

Shiqiang Zhang (Visiting Scientist, Eindhoven University of Technology, May-September 2016)

Yuerou Zhang (Visiting Researcher, China, Summer 2016)

Akshaya Srivastava (M.S. student, 2016)

Kosuke Enomoto (Visiting Reasercher, Osaka Institute of Technology, 2017)