Higgins Labs 239
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Affiliated Department or Office
BS Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) 1987
MS Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 1989
PhD California Institute of Technology 2001

Prior to joining the faculty at WPI in 2001, I was a Senior Staff Engineer in the Advanced Propulsion Technology Group at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). My research at JPL included application of plasma sources for materials processing and the development of pulsed plasma and small-scale hydrazine thrusters. In the mission support area, I worked as the propulsion engineer for the Deep Space 3 Interferometer and Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) missions. I am an active member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), serving as an Associate Editor for the AIAA Journal of Propulsion and Power and Vice Chair of the Executive Council for the New England Section. I am also a member of the AIAA Electric Propulsion Technical Committee.  I supported NASA’s Space Technology 7 (ST-7) mission as a member of the NASA Technology Review Board from 2002 to 2003 and as Chair of the Critical Design Review Board for NASA’s colloid micronewton thruster development activity from 2004 to 2007. Long before I left NASA to come to WPI, I knew I wanted to both teach and conduct research. My work at WPI has allowed me to combine these two passions, working alongside bright, enthusiastic students from whom I am constantly learning new things. I have both undergraduate and graduate students working in my lab and my daily interaction with them, as well as those with many outstanding colleagues, make being part of the WPI community the rewarding experience that it is.

Scholarly Work

Thermal Analysis of a Lithium Vaporizer for a High-Power Magnetoplasmadynamic Thruster 2006

Electric Propulsion and Controller Design for Drag-Free Spacecraft Operation in Low Earth Orbit 2008

Effect of Electron Bombardment on Size Distribution of Negatively Charged Droplets Produced by Electrospray 2013

Feasibility for Orbital Life Extension of a CubeSat Flying in the Lower Thermosphere 2016

Professional Highlights & Honors
, 2000
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
, 2003

, 2004