Ph.D. Researchers

Sam Hart

Fourth-year SSDL Ph.D. Student

Research: “My research focuses on propellant management with applications to small satellites and CubeSats. This spans analytical, numerical, and experimental work. Thanks to the extensive resources within the LGST and the Space Systems Design Lab (SSDL) we are able to rapidly prototype and test hardware to demonstrate novel PMD technologies. It’s my hope that this work will enable a more capable next generation of CubeSats.

Awards: NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program, Best 2024 Small Satellite Student Paper Award at AIAA SciTech

Eric Anthony Comstock

Second-year Ph.D. Student

Research: “I am a Ph.D. student at Georgia Tech working for Dr. Romero-Calvo in the LGST lab. I started my journey at Texas A&M University, which has prepared me well for this position. My research interests include computational fluid dynamics and modeling of electromagnetic systems and of hypersonic flows. I chose the LGST lab due to my extreme enthusiasm for technologies with the potential to help humanity colonize the solar system, and beyond. The LGST lab is a great opportunity due to the high applicability of its projects to near-future space technologies. Additionally, I look very forward to collaborating with any new team members joining this incredible adventure!

Awards: NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program, Goizueta Foundation Fellowship, APS DPP travel award.

Hugh Chen

First-year Ph.D. Student

Research: “It has been my dream to contribute to humanity’s quest of becoming an interplanetary species, as a result, I am beyond thrilled that I now find myself as a part of the LGST lab, where we will be pioneering the next generation of space technologies and systems. It is my hope that my diverse educational journey will bring an influx of new ideas and technicalities to the LGST lab. My research interest spans from fluid mechanics to magnetohydrodynamics and more. I am really looking forward to meeting and collaborating with all the brilliant minds at LGST and beyond, as well as all the endless possibilities that lie ahead in our shared exploration of the cosmos.”

Romain Fonteyne

First-year Ph.D. Student

Research: “Romain Fonteyne is a Ph.D. student at the LGST since Fall 2023. Before embarking on his academic journey at Georgia Tech, Romain contributed to pioneering projects as an aerospace and systems engineer, including roles in NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory and ESA’s ExoMars missions. His contributions earned him recognition on Forbes’ prestigious 30 Under 30 Europe list. Previously, Romain studied at the Institut Polytechnique des Sciences Avancées (IPSA, France), the Warsaw University of Technology (Poland), and the Polytechnic University of Turin (Italy). Football, music, and hiking are among his hobbies when he is not immersed in the realms of space exploration.”

Theo St. Francis

First-year Ph.D. Student

Research: “I’m looking forward to joining Prof. Romero-Calvo’s lab in January 2024 to help develop the 21st-century fluids infrastructure required for long-duration human spaceflight. My prior experience includes summers spent on Structures and Propulsion at Relativity Space, as well as designing, building, and firing a methane-oxygen engine to 400psi with a classmate. As we prepare for the eras of Starship – including microgravity cryogenic propellant transfers and a massive reduction in specific cost to orbit – as well as Artemis – with long-duration human spaceflight and a re-established presence in the lunar environment – we will require both new science and technology to manage fluids for these missions. At LGST my research will focus on propellant management, electrolysis for life-support, and lunar dust mitigation.

Awards: NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program