Carmen_Guerra_Garcia_17_FAV copy Carmen Guerra-Garcia

 Atlantic Richfield Career Development Professor in Energy Studies
 Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics
 MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Carmen Guerra-Garcia is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT and leads the Aerospace Plasma Group. Guerra-Garcia received her Aeronautical Engineering degree (2007) from the Polytechnic University of Madrid and her SM (2011) and PhD (2015) in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT. Before joining the faculty, Guerra-Garcia worked as a research engineer in Boeing Research and Technology Europe, held a post-doctoral appointment at MIT and was a visiting student researcher at Princeton University. Her group specializes in gas discharge and plasma physics phenomena, including their interaction with air and space-borne vehicles, and as technological solutions to different aerospace challenges. By combination of experimental, analytical, and numerical methods the group’s work aims to transition from empiricism to design by analysis in disciplines that have traditionally relied on experiments and testing; and to facilitate the incorporation of plasma technologies in the aerospace field. Her current efforts focus on aircraft-triggered lightning physics, including physics-based modeling and novel methods for protection, as well as plasma-assisted micro-combustion, and fundamental aspects of different gas discharge regimes and their transitions. She has received several awards including the International Fulbright Science and Technology Award (2009-2012), and the Amelia Earhart Fellowship (2012). She is a Senior Member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). Guerra-Garcia’s current teaching at MIT includes graduate-level courses on Ionized Gases and Space Propulsion, and the undergraduate course on Aerospace Propulsion.  


PhD Students


 Benjamin Charles Martell

 MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Ben is a PhD student in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT. He received his SM in AeroAstro from MIT (2021) and his BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Rochester (2019). He is currently researching the use of non-thermal plasma for CO2 conversion, to advance methods of ISRU on Mars and carbon capture and conversion on Earth. He is motivated by developing technology to help explore the universe and solve complex problems. He has experience with researching electrostatics, fluids, plasmas, and space systems.  


Carmen_Guerra_Garcia_17_FAV copy Colin Pavan

 MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Colin Pavan is a 4th year graduate student in the Aerospace Plasmas Group working towards his PhD. He has a Bachelors degree in Mechanical   Engineering from the University of Waterloo (2017) and a SM in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT (2019). His research interests are in non-thermal plasmas and their applications, particularly in the fields of aircraft triggered lightning, streamer phase discharges and plasma assisted microcombustion. His research is based on both experiments and simulation, with a focus on developing reduced order models to capture complicated physical processes. He has previously worked for Boeing Research and Technology investigating electrostatic ignition hazard mitigation in composite aircraft and participated in a MISTI research program to study aircraft triggered lightning protection at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia.  


 Lee Strobel

 MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Lee is a 1st year graduate student in Aeronautics and Astronautics, conducting research in the Aerospace Plasma Group. He received his Master's degree in Aerospace Engineering from Cambridge University in 2005 and most recently worked as a Senior Engineer in the Oil & Gas Industry. His research interests are computational modelling of discharges, streamers and other atmospheric plasma phenomena. Personal interests include chess, rock music, traveling and spending time with family.  


SM Students

 Raphaël Jean Dijoud

 MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Raphaël is a 1st year SM student in AeroAstro at MIT. He is coming from Centrale Supélec engineering school in Paris, France. He joined the Aerospace Plasma Group in 2021 and started research on plasma-assisted combustion for aircraft applications. His research interests are numerical modelling of complex physical phenomena requiring a multi-fields approach. In particular, he is motivated in improving combustion processes and thermal management in aerospace propulsion. Raphaël is currently working on non-thermal plasmas, and chemical and fluid interactions between gas and electric discharges. He had previously worked in thermal management in aerospace in various structures, including the start-up Blue Spirit Aero, the aircraft engines manufacturer Safran, and the French National Research Center.  



Sharil Maredia (MechE 2024,

Claire Johnson (AeroAstro 2024,

Grace Mao (AeroAstro 2022,

Ethan Sit (AeroAstro 2021,

Devin Johnson, 2021

Thomas Edelman, 2021

Matthew H. Clingerman, 2020

Matthew C. Campbell, 2020

Tyler C. Worthley, 2019

Sean M. Parks, 2018

Administrative Assistant

Beata Shuster
Beata Shuster
MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Graduate Alumni

Yiyun Zhang

Year: 2020
Degree: SM

Theodore Mouratidis

Year: 2019
Degree: SM

Visiting Students

Pol Fontanes, 2019

Michele Urbani, 2019