Ben Jorns, Associate Professor with the University of Michigan Department of Aerospace Engineering, and members of the Plasmadynamics and Electric Propulsion Laboratory (PEPL) have been recognized with the 2023 AIAA Best Paper in Electric Propulsion award. The honor comes for the group’s paper, titled “Operation and Performance of a Magnetically Shielded Hall Thruster at Ultrahigh Current Densities on Xenon and Krypton.” Among the authors contributing to this outstanding paper are lead author, Dr. Leanne Su, formerly of PEPL, Parker J. Roberts, Tate Gill, William Hurley, Thomas A. Marks, Christopher L. Sercel, Madison Allen, Collin B. Whittaker, Matthew Byrne, Zachariah Brown, Eric Viges, and Benjamin Jorns. This work was supported in part by the NASA JANUS institute, a NASA funded institute to investigate the challenges with testing high power electric propulsion systems.
This marks the sixth AIAA Best Paper in Electric Propulsion Award in the past seven years for Jorns, who left the electric propulsion group at NASA JPL in 2016 to join the University of Michigan faculty where he is co-director of the Plasmadynamics and Electric Propulsion Laboratory. The Plasmadynamics and Electric Propulsion Laboratory at the University of Michigan is now one of the leading electric propulsion research centers in the world.
Jorns is an associate fellow of the AIAA and has received among other awards the 2021 AIAA Lawrence Sperry Award, the Department of Energy Early Career Research Award, and an AFOSR Young Investigator Program award. Jorns also serves as co-director of the NASA Joint Advanced Propulsion Institute. His main research interests include the study of mechanisms and stability in electric propulsion systems, turbulence and non-linear processes in low-temperature plasmas, and developing new plasma diagnostics and breakthrough forms of in-space propulsion.
Professor Jorns’ dedication to advancing the field of aerospace engineering is exemplified not only through his numerous awards but also by his commitment to mentoring future generations of researchers and engineers. His contributions continue to shape electric propulsion and propel Michigan Aerospace to the forefront of aerospace innovation.