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Justin Little
Assistant Professor

PhD, Princeton University
MA, Princeton University
BS, University of California, Irvine

Justin is the founder and director of the UW SPACE Lab. His research methods combine reduced-order theoretical modeling and innovative experiment design to explore the plasma physics fundamental to electric thrusters. The ultimate goal of his research is to improve the efficiency and capabilities of next-generation electric propulsion systems.


Arvindh Sharma
PhD Student

MS, University of Cincinnati
BE, Anna University

Arvindh is working on characterizing the evolution of dynamic structures in a Pulsed Inductive Thruster plasma. He comes from a background in fluids and combustion research and plans to apply image processing techniques to the study of plasma physics. His goal is to contribute to the development of space propulsion systems for long-term space exploration.


Patrick Rae
MS Student

BS, University of Washington

Traditional electron cyclotron resonance (ECR) thrusters have experienced lifetime limitations from antenna erosion which have prevented their use in space. Patrick is developing a shielded antenna ECR to expand the future possibilities for ECR thruster implementation.


Curtis Promislow
PhD Student

MS, North Carolina State University
BS, North Carolina State University


Curtis is working on the High Pulse Rate planar Pulsed Inductive Thruster project, which investigates the effects of high pulse rate operation on the design, physics, and performance of planar pulsed inductive thrusters. His research combines power electronics and circuit design, plasma physics, and advanced plasma diagnostics. As part of this project, Curtis collaborates closely with the Propulsion Research and Development Laboratory at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center.

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Landon Bevier
PhD Student

BS, University of Washington
BA, University of Washington

Landon’s research focuses on developing our understanding of plasma chemical reactions in molecular propellant EP devices.  This work is done both experimentally with the use of a Helicon plasma source as well as theoretically by way of simulated molecular plasma models. 


Danny Roberts
MS Student

BS, University of Washington

Danny is researching plasma plume-spacecraft interaction modeling. Understanding effects such as erosion, deposition, and spacecraft charging due to backflow exhaust ions in electric thruster plumes is essential for in-orbit satellite servicing and long duration EP missions.


Peter Thoreau
PhD Student

MS, University of Washington
MSc, International Space University
BE, University of Queensland
BSc, University of Queensland

Peter is researching Magnetically Shielded Hall Thrusters. His research covers plasma lensing and novel operation of the SPACE Lab low power Hall thruster. He has designed and built the thruster along with diagnostics for the lab including a thrust stand and Faraday probe array. His previous experience in the use of disruptive technologies to rapidly developed space hardware has resulted in several launched payloads to the ISS and LEO.


Isabella Rieco
GEM & Varanasi Fellow
PhD Student

BS, Pennsylvania State University

Isabella is researching 1D erosion modeling for Magnetically Shielded Hall Thrusters. This work will be developed theoretically first then tested experimentally using a novel low power Hall Thruster. This work will aid in improving the lifetime of Hall thrusters and can be developed to aid in accelerated lifetime testing.

Undergraduate Students:

  • Jacob Sawyer

  • Athena ???



Anna Sheppard, PhD
EP Technologist, NASA JPL


Charles Kelly, PhD
Starship Engineer II, SpaceX

Master's Students:

  • Sari Emese Barczay, MS

  • Reed Thompson, MS

  • Jonah Taylor, MS

  • Cameron Marsh, MS

  • Gordon McCulloh, MS

  • Sungyoung Ha, MS

  • Wesley Jackson, MS

  • Nadiah Jenkins, MS

  • Diego Mejia Montano, MS

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