Current Group Members
Mark Cappelli – Principal Investigator
Professor Cappelli received his B.Sc. degree in Physics (McGill, 1980), and M.A.Sc and Ph.D. degrees in Aerospace Sciences (Toronto, 1983, 1987). He joined Stanford University in 1987 and is currently a Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Co-Director of the Engineering Physics Program. He carries out research in applied plasma physics with applications to a broad range of fields, including space propulsion, aerodynamics, medicine, materials synthesis, and fusion.
Ben Wang – PhD Candidate
Benjamin Wang received his B.A. degree in Physics, and double majored in Economics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He obtained a MS in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford. His current research is on developing plasma devices for applications in medicine and agriculture, as well as developing open source hardware for research labs.
Taemin Yong – PhD Candidate
Taemin Yong spent his undergraduate studies pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering at Seoul National University in South Korea and got his MS degree in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University (2015). His research interests lie in generating plasmas in high pressure conditions and studying their kinetics. During his free time, he enjoys traveling and playing sports, especially table tennis.
William Riedel – PhD Candidate
Will completed a BS from Brown University and MS from Stanford in Electrical Engineering. After a few years as an optical engineer at Apple, he returned to Stanford to study plasma physics. He studies collisionality and kinetic behavior in high-energy, fully ionized plasmas relevant to inertial confinement fusion. His hobbies include basketball, snowboarding, backpacking, and the occasional rafting trip into McCovey Cove.
Andrea Marcovati – PhD Candidate
Andrea was born and raised in Milan, Italy. He received his BSc (2013) in Aerospace Engineering and MSc (2016) in Space Engineering from Politecnico di Milano. Andrea visited Stanford for the first time in 2015 to work on thrust and ion velocity measurements in Hall thrusters. After graduating he worked for the Italian company D-Orbit as a space system engineer. In 2017 Andrea decided to return to Stanford to pursue a PhD in Mechanical Engineering and work at SPPL. Andrea’s main research focus is the study of the formation of coherent structures in magnetized plasmas. Other than plasma physics, his interests include anything related to computer science and aerospace. In his spare time, he loves reading a good book and spending time with his beautiful wife Bea and daughter Laurel.
Jesse A. Rodríguez – PhD Candidate
Jesse completed his undergraduate studies at Oregon State University with HBS degrees in Physics, Mathematics, and Nuclear Engineering. He obtained a MS in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford. He is a devoted cinephile, avid golfer, rabid Laker fan, reluctant marathon runner, stoked snowboarder, broke watch collector, gym rat climber, and average landscape photographer. His research interests include studying plasma jets to gain insight into the fundamental physics of plasma turbulence and plasma photonic crystal devices for strange applications like cloaking and optical computing.
Adura A.T. Jibodu – PhD Candidate
Adura received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Southern California. After working as a consultant at Deloitte and a mechanical design engineer at Pratt and Whitney, he came to Stanford to study plasma physics. He is particularly interested in high energy plasmas and fusion applications, and is currently working on developing diagnostic systems to better understand kinetic behavior within such plasmas. Outside of academia, he is interested in cars, fitness, and movies.
Ryan C. Przybocki – PhD Student
Ryan received his undergraduate degree in Physics from MIT after growing up in Austin, Texas. He is primarily interested in bridging fundamental plasma physics with engineering applications in research, particularly to advance the fields of fusion energy and propulsion. He is currently working on measurement techniques for laboratory plasmas and seeks to engineer new devices to study plasma collisions. Outside of research, Ryan enjoys powerlifting, playing guitar, watching The Big Lebowski, and searching for the best coffee in town.
Christina Sze – Undergraduate Student
Christina is a Stanford undergraduate planning on majoring in engineering and biology and minoring in International Relations. Her research interests lie in plasma chemistry and its applications to the life sciences. Outside of academics and research, Christina enjoys long-distance running, watching musical theater, and working on projects in the Stanford Student Space Initiative.
Samuel Montagut Agudelo – Undergraduate Student
Samuel is currently an undergraduate student at Stanford University majoring in engineering and minoring in Chinese. He works under Professor Mark Cappelli at the Stanford Plasma Physics Laboratory. Samuel’s interests are in researching plasma physics and the potential for optical computing as well as plasma propulsion for spacecraft. He hopes to one day use his knowledge and entrepreneur spirit to start a company and continue working in what he loves doing. When not studying or in the lab, Samuel spends time playing pickleball, working on the Solar Car Project or working out at the gym.
Hayat Abdurahman – Undergraduate Student
Hayat is currently an undergraduate planning on majoring in electrical engineering at Stanford University. She plans on pursuing a coterm in mechanical engineering. Her research interests include biosensing and expanding the usage of non-thermal plasma technology for environmental applications. When not studying or working, Hayat enjoys watching Marvel movies, playing soccer, making pottery, and trying different food cuisines.
Ahmed Abdalla – Undergraduate Student
Ahmed is a Sudanese American undergraduate researcher currently pursuing a double major in Physics and Math. His budding research interests lie at the intersection of machine learning and photonics. He hopes to continue his studies by pursuing a Ph.D in high-energy physics. When not studying physics, Ahmed divides his time between the Stanford Student Space Initiative, his euphonium, and watching cartoons with his little sister Asiel.
Dr. Fabio Righetti (2020): Gaseous Plasmonic Structures for Gigahertz and Terahertz Wave Manipulation. Currently at Lam Research/contact
Professor Thomas Underwood (2019): Hydromagnetic Stability and Collisional Properties of Current-Driven Plasma Jets. Currently at the University of Texas at Austin/contact
Dr. Roberto Colon (2018): Gaseous Plasmonic Resonators for Metamaterial Applications. Currently at Momentus Space/contact
Dr. David Biggs (2018): A Study of the Dynamic Response of Plasma Filled Microwave Cavity Resonators. Currently at Moments Space/contact
Dr. Keith Loebner (2017): Physics and Applications of a Plasma Deflagration Accelerator. Currently at Sutter Hill Ventures/contact
Dr. Chris Young (2016): Dynamics of Plasma Discharges used for Space Propulsion. Currently at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory/contact
Dr. Eunsun Cha (2015): Dynamic Models of Electron Transport in Hall Thruster Simulations. Currently at Facebook/contact
Dr. Cheryl Lam (2015): Two Dimensional Axial – Azimuthal Simulation of Cross Field Electron Transport in a Hall Thruster Plasma Discharge. Currently at Sandia National Laboratory/contact
Professor Moon Soo Bak (2013): Nanosecond Pulsed Plasma Assisted Combustion. Currently at Sung Kyun Kwan University/contact
Professor Seong-kyun Im (2012): A Study of Unstart and its Delay Using Dielectric Barrier Discharges. Currently at Korea University/contact
Dr. Natalia MacDonald Tenenbaum (2012): Laser Induced Fluorescence Characterization of Cusped Field Plasma Thrusters. Currently at Aerojet Rocketdyne/contact
Dr. Scott Crawford (2012): Experimental Study of Vacuum Microplasma Spraying. Currently at Array Science LLC/contact
Dr. Flavio Poehlmann (2010): Investigation of a Plasma Deflagration Gun and Magnetohydrodynamic Rankine-Hugoniot Model to Support a Unifying Theory of Plasma Guns. Currently at Varian Medical Systems/contact
Professor Aaron Knoll (2010): Plasma Oscillations and Associated Electron Transport in Hall Thruster. Currently at Imperial College of London/contact
Dr. Andrew Smith (2010): Field Structure and Electron Transport in the Near Field of Hall Thrusters. Currently at Stevens High School South Dakota/contact
Dr. David Scharfe (2009): Alternative Hall Thruster Propellants Bismuth and Krypton: Simulated Performance and Characterization. Currently at the Air Force Research Laboratory/contact
Professor Hyungrok Do (2009): Plasma-Assisted Combustion in a Supersonic Flow. Currently at Seoul National University/contact
Dr. Michelle Scharfe (2009): Electron Cross-Field Transport Modeling in Radial-Axial Hybrid Hall Thruster Simulations. Currently at the Air Force Research Laboratory and Bravewriter.com/contact
Dr. Quentin Walker (2007): Characterization and Novel Applications of the Helium Arcjet. Currently at Applied Materials/contact
Woo Kyung Kim (2006): An Investigation of Plasma Enhanced Combustion. Currently at United Technologies Corporation/contact
Dr. Cliff Thomas (2006): Anomalous Electron Transport in the Hall Effect Thruster. Currently at the University of Rochester/contact
Dr. David Manzella (2005): Scaling Hall Thrusters to High Power. Currently at NASA Glenn Research Center/contact
Dr. Nathan Meezan (2002): Electron Transport in a Coaxial Hall Discharge. Currently at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory/contact
Dr. Alex Glew (2002): Plasma Deposition of Diamond-Like Carbon and Fluorinated Carbon and the Resultant Properties and Structure. Currently President of Glew Engineering/contact
Dr. William Hargus (2001): Investigation of the Acceleration Mechanism within a Coaxial Hall Thruster. Currently with the Air Force Research Laboratory/contact
Dr. Joongsoo Kim (1998): Combustion Synthesis of Diamond. Currently CEO of ReCarbon Inc./contact
Dr. Darren Berns (1998): Ion Assisted Chemical Vapor Deposition of Thin Film Cubic Boron Nitride. Currently at IDEX Inc./contact
Dr. Michael Loh (1997): A Study of Diamond Synthesis in an Expanding Arcjet Plasma Flow. Currently at Robert Bosch GmbH/contact
Dr. Renato Cedolin (1997): Laser Induced Fluorescence Diagnostics of Xenon Plasmas. Currently at Folio Technologies LLC/contact
Dr. John Gilmore (1997): On the Vibrational De-Excitation of Weakly Dissociated Air. Currently at (Unknown)/contact
Dr. P. Victor Storm (1997): Optical Investigation of Plasma Properties in the Interior of Arcjet Thrusters. Currently at (Unknown)/contact
Dr. Douglas Beattie (1995): Raman Scattering Measurements of Molecular Hydrogen in an Arcjet Thruster Plume. Currently at (Unknown)/contact
Dr. John Liebeskind (1994): Temperature and Velocity Diagnostic for an Arcjet Plume using Laser-Induced Fluorescence. Currently at Hewlett-Packard Corporation/contact
Dr. Ellen Meeks (1994): Modeling the Boundary-Layer Interactions Between Weakly Ionized Plasmas and Cooled, Planar Electrodes in Stagnation-Point Flows. Currently at ANSYS Corporation/contact
Dr. Harald Herchen (1994): High Temperature Raman Scattering in Diamond and Cubic Boron Nitride. Currently at Bloom Energy/contact
Dr. Mohammed Islam Raja (1993): Modeling and Simulation of Low-Pressure Deposition and Etching Processes. Currently President of Edugence/contact
Dr. Hongqing Shan (1991): Electric Field and Impedance Measurements of Glow Discharges used for Plasma Etching. Currently at NICE Solar/contact
Oliver Miller (2019)
Visiting Ph.D. Students
Dr. Jonathan Kolbeck (2020): Understanding Plasma-Initiated Secondary Arc Discharges. Currently at Applied Materials/contact
Dr. Antonio Gurciullo (2018): Electric Propulsion Technologies for Enabling the use of Molecular Propellants. Currently at Exotrail/contact
Dr. Nicolas Gascon: Currently at Momentus Space/contact
Professor Andrea Lucca Fabris: Surrey Space Center, UK/contact
Dr. Patricia Barreto: Currently at the National Institute for Space Research, Brazil/contact
Professor Tsuyohito Ito: Currently at the University of Tokyo, Japan/contact
Dr. Olivier Postel: Currently at DiPIX/contact
Dr. Aidar Zhakupov: Currently CEO at Nazarbayev University Research and Innovation System/contact