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.

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.

Landon Bevier

PhD Student

BS, University of Washington

BA, University of Washington

Landon's research focuses on applying new data science techniques developed at UW along with machine learning to analyze time resolved optical spectra data. These new methods will help fit data from experimental electric propulsion devices  to collisional radiative models.

Jonah Taylor

MS Student

BS, Occidental College

Jonah’s research will focus on refurbishing the thermal vacuum chamber located within the SPACE Lab. This chamber will be used to test the lab’s thrusters in the various thermal environments found in space. Jonah will also be working on the thermal modeling of the low power Hall thruster that is currently being developed by the lab.

Cameron Marsh

MS Student

BS, University of Nevada

Cameron’s research focus is on understanding a relation between the plasma pre-ionization phase and current sheet formation in the acceleration phase of Inductive Pulsed Plasma Thrusters. Identifying this relation will help experiments that rely on pre-ionization to be able to set parameters for an ideal current sheet formation.

Anna Sheppard

NSF Graduate Research Fellow

PhD Student

MS, University of Washington

BS, University of Michigan

Anna is researching electric propulsion concepts that run on molecular propellants. She is presently designing an electrodeless thruster that can operate using a variety of complex propellants, including water, air, or mono-propellants. Using in-situ resource utilization, future NASA missions may eventually exploit this technology for planetary exploration.

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.

Sungyoung Ha

MS Student

BS, Seoul National University

Sungyoung's research focuses on understanding the species distributions in molecular plasma, and improving diagnostic methods for such analysis. He hopes to combine this with his background in CubeSATs to develop novel space systems. His ultimate goal is to expand the borders of humanity and realize space colonization. 

Gordon McCulloh

MS Student

BS, US Air Force Academy

Gordon is a member of the inaugural class of Space Force engineers. He is working on the Pulsed Inductive Thruster project, researching circuit design, mathematical modeling, and plasma physics. Gordon hopes to combine his knowledge of space propulsion systems with experience in SmallSat engineering to advance the capabilities of U.S. defense satellites and scientific platforms.

Sari Emese Barczay

MS Student

BA, George Mason University
BS, University of Washington

Sari's research focuses on the applications of plasma physics to the development of Plasma Aerocapture. In particular, her work focuses on developing a global model with molecular species in order to gain a more nuanced understanding of interactions between plasma and a neutral stream. She is excited to be supporting work that will help to expand the possibilities of space missions.

Charles Kelly


PhD Student

MS, University of Washington
BS, Princeton University

Charlie researches plasma physics and deep-space mission design with Plasma Aerocapture, a technology with applications from getting humans on Mars to sending probes to Neptune. His work aims to develop both an analytic model and an experimental investigation informing system design of the device for these mission classes.

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.

Wesley Jackson

MS Student

BS, US Air Force Academy

Wes is an engineer and officer in the US Air Force who will soon be transferring into the newly formed Space Force. Within the SPACE Lab, he is investigating the plasma drag effects of Pulsed Plasma Thruster exhaust on micrometer-sized ice grains. This technology could be used to help study interplanetary dust particles, particularly around Europa and Enceladus where such particles may contain signs of life.

Reed Thompson

MS Student

BS, University of Washington

Reed has been interested in space exploration ever since he was in middle school and saw the observatories on Mauna Kea while visiting Hawaii. Reed joined SPACE Labs as a volunteer assistant researcher and is back at SPACE Labs as a masters student, undecided if he will continue his research with hall thrusters or expand his knowledge in other electric propulsion technologies.


Nadiah Jenkins, MS

Project Engineer, Aerojet Rocketdyne

Diego Mejia Montano, MS

Propulsion Engineer, Blue Origin

Space Propulsion & Advanced Concepts Engineering Laboratory

William E. Boeing Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics

013 Aerospace and Energetics Research Building

University of Washington

Seattle, WA 98195


SPACE Lab at IEPC 2019 in Vienna