Our HRL team members:

Wesley L. Harris
Lab Advisor

Currently, Charles Stark Draper Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Head of New House Residence Hall, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts; former Associate Provost for Faculty Equity, MIT, 2008 - 2013. Served as Head of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, MIT, 2003 - 2008. Served as Associate Administrator for Aeronautics responsible for all programs, facilities, and personnel in Aeronautics at NASA, 1993 - 1995. Academic research associated with unsteady aerodynamics, aeroacoustics, rarefied gas dynamics, sustainment of capital assets, and chaos in sickle cell disease having made seminal contributions in each of these research fields. In academe, worked with industry and governments to design and build joint industry - government - university research and development programs, centers, and institutes; transferred technology effectively. Credited with more than 130 technical papers and presentations. Developed an outstanding record in advancing cultural diversity in academe and in government.



Durgesh Chandel









Matthew A. Clarke

Matthew is an Engineering Excellence Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics (A.A.) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is also a member of the V/STOL Aircraft Systems Technical Committee of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in A.A. from Stanford University and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Howard University. His research focuses on aircraft design, aerodynamics, and aeroacoustics, with an emphasis on the analysis and optimization of vehicles for regional and urban air mobility. It encompasses system modeling of novel battery technology for electric propulsion applications and the impact of aircraft noise on transportation network planning. He also explores how noise and battery state of health can guide the development of regional and urban air mobility vehicles for commuter travel around major cities and transit hubs.



Chelsea Onyeador
Finite Difference Hypersonic Boundary Layers

Chelsea is a 3rd year PhD student studying Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT. She earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University in 2018 and an S.M. in Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT in 2021. Her research centers on the simulation on similar and non-similar hypersonic boundary layers with temperature-varying properties. As an active member of the MIT Black Graduate Students Association and various other student advocacy groups, Chelsea is a strong supporter of inclusion and anti-racist reforms in academia. As a Graduate Resident Advisor, during her spare time, she can be found playing bass guitar, electric guitar, and clarinet; or watching TV. She is also the lead Thermal Design Engineer at Enoir Power Technologies.



Carter Waligura
High-Speed Error Quantification for RANS Models

Carter is a PhD candidate in the AeroAstro department at MIT focusing his education on computational fluid dynamics, specifically in the hypersonic flow regime. Carter grew up playing baseball and flying RC planes in southwestern Pennsylvania. He then went on to complete his undergraduate education at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio studying Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. Carter’s Masters research focus was on turbulence modeling uncertainty quantification, where he examined Reynolds Averaged Naiver Stokes (RANS) methods and their limits in high-speed aerodynamics. His current research focuses on data-driven physics based turbulence modeling developments with the goal of improving hihg-speed surface prediction accuracy. Since moving to Boston, Carter has enjoyed biking around Somerville, snowboarding, learning to sail, and participating in several intramural sports teams.



Lee Lopez
Aerothermal Heating Coupling with SBLI and Liquid Metal Cooling

Lee is a PhD student in the Hypersonics Research Lab. His research focuses on computational methods for hypersonic aero thermo dynamics , hypersonic shock - wave/boundary - layer interaction (SBLI), and the use of liquid metals to mitigate surface heating in high - enthalpy gas flows. Originally from Long Island, Lee completed his undergraduate studies in mechanical engineering at The Cooper Union in New York. When not in the lab, Lee enjoys cycling and watching sports, especially baseball and soccer.



Dominique Hoskin

Leading Edge Effects on Hypersonic Boundary Layer Receptivity and Transition

Prior degrees: SM and SB in aeronautics and astronautics both from MIT

Dominique Hoskin is a PhD candidate investigating transitional hypersonic boundary layers and shockwave boundary layer interactions, with a specific focus on boundary layer receptivity to freestream disturbances. A key objective of his work is discovering the sensitivity of hypersonic boundary layer simulations to computational grid resolution in the leading-edge region. As a MathWorks Fellow, Dominique will focus on using the EXASIM code, a massively parallel high-order discontinuous Galerkin finite element code, to perform direct numerical simulations in three dimensions on a hypersonic flat plate with and without an impinging shockwave. To accomplish these objectives, he has been given an allocation of node hours on the SUMMIT supercomputer at the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The anticipated results of his work could greatly improve the understanding and management of boundary layer transition on hypersonic vehicles, which is essential to vehicle design and performance. More broadly, his work could have significant implications for the performance of high-speed vehicles.


Geoffrey Svensson


Geoffery (Jeff) Svensson
Reduced Order Model Studies on Scramjet Range of Operation






Vaishnavi Ramaswamy
Hypersonic Laminar-Turbulent Transition Studies Utilizing Stability Theory Methods






Stewart Isaacs
Physics-based modeling for novel clean energy systems

Stewart is a 5th

 year PhD candidate in the Aeronautics and Astronautics department. His research interests are in modeling and developing novel clean energy systems, particularly productive-use and decentralized solar systems, to understand how these systems will inform energy justice and sustainable development. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Stewart previously earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University, and an SM in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT. He also has served as an Archer-Cornfield Teaching Fellow at Ashesi University and co-taught Introduction to Energy in Global Development at MIT’s D-Lab. Outside of his work, he enjoys participating in sports such as competitive jump rope and club gymnastics.



Kendra Lynn Middleton


Kendra is a Master's student studying hypersonics in the AeroAstro department at MIT as of Fall 2022.  She earned her B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering with a minor in the German language at the United States Air Force Academy in 2022, and she graduated as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force.  She is currently a Lincoln Laboratories Fellow, and she will enter pilot training following her time at MIT.  She enjoys reading and going to the gym in her spare time.  




Claire Mathilde Namuroy   cnamuroy @
Matthew E Schofield   mschof @
Nihal Simha   nsimha @
Shannon Cassidy Smith   scsmith7 @



Undergraduate Researchers (UROPs)

Fall 2022: Andrew Welter awelter @
Fall 2022: Spencer Yoder syoder @

Support Staff


Britton 'Bryt' Bradley
bryt @
Bryt joined Professor Harris' Hypersonics Research Laboratory & group on June 1st, 2022.  She has been working at MIT officially since March 23, 1998, and will offer administrative support and (hopefully) wise council to group members based on her years of service at the 'tvte.



Ben Couchman
Output Adaptive High Speed Simulation with Novel Shock Sensor Development

Ben Couchman (he/him/his) is a PhD candidate in MIT's Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He works on robust output adaptive simulation, with application to high speed and chemically reacting flows. Prior to his PhD studies, Ben spent three years in industry in the UK working as a consultant and a software developer, solving problems in environments governed by complex multi-physics involving high speeds and energy densities. Ben also holds a bachelor's and a master's degree in Aerospace and Aerothermal engineering from the University of Cambridge.

HRL Departure : April 2022



Kevin Sabo
Non-Boltzman Chemical Model Definition for Hypersonic Plasma Absorption Simulation


HRL Departure : early 2022



Humberto Caldelas II
Humberto (Humby) Caldelas II
Experimental Studies on Plasma Absorption Around a Capsule Utlizing SF6


HRL Departure : June 2021