Stephen Gildea, PhD

Stephen Gildea, PhD

Areas of Expertise

  • Electric propulsion technologies
    • Hall-effect thrusters
    • Ionic liquid electrosprays
    • Vacuum chamber testing and diagnostics
  • Physics of partially ionized gases
  • Plasma modelling and simulation
  • Parallel computing

Background and Current Work

Dr. Stephen Gildea is a plasma scientist at Riverside Research. His current work focuses on utilizing thermionic plasma sources to perform scaled laboratory studies of ionospheric and hypersonic phenomena. In addition, he is designing experiments to validate theoretical and computational models of direct current plasma discharges in regimes relevant to plasma propulsion technologies, especially Hall-effect thrusters.

Previously, Dr. Gildea managed the research and development of in-space propulsion technologies for the USAF. He established a research team and facility to investigate ionic liquid electrosprays for in-space propulsion applications. He also has experience using experiments and kinetic simulations to study the physics and performance of plasma thrusters.

Education, Awards, and Recognition

Dr. Gildea received his BS in aerospace engineering from the University of Florida. He then earned his MS and PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has authored or co-authored several peer reviewed articles and conference papers.