Dr. John D. Schmisseur
Dr. John D. Schmisseur joined the faculty of the University of Tennessee Knoxville Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering on August 1, 2014. He teaches and leads research at the University of Tennessee Space Institute.
Prior to joining the faculty, John was the Chief of the Energy, Power & Propulsion Sciences Division and Program Manager for Aerothermodynamics within the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR). During his tenure at AFOSR, John initiated and led a national strategic research plan which has guided the research efforts of multiple federal agencies, championed the transition of basic research capabilities that have advanced flagship national hypersonics technology programs and transformed test and evaluation capabilities, and envisioned the HIFiRE program which unifies the efforts of AFRL, NASA and the Australian DSTO to advance fundamental hypersonic science and technology via flight research. He is active within the professional community including having served as Chair of the AIAA Fluid Dynamics Technical Committee and a NATO Science and Technology Organisation working group. John earned his B.S. (1990) and M.S. (1992) in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and his Ph.D. (1997) in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Purdue University. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (2012) and the Air Force Research Laboratory (2013) and is the 2008 recipient of the Air Force Science and Engineering Award in Research Management.
Dr. Phil Kreth
Dr. Phillip A. Kreth received his B.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Florida State University (FSU) in 2008 and 2015, respectively. Prior to joining the faculty of UTSI in early 2016, he was an adjunct assistant professor and post-doctoral research associate at FSU in the fall of 2015. His expertise is in active flow control and actuator development, as well as advanced optical diagnostics of high-speed flows. Dr. Kreth oversaw the design and construction of UTSI’s new 24” × 24” Mach 4 Ludwieg Tube that is currently being commissioned. Additionally, he has implemented new diagnostic methods, including fast-response PSP (pressure sensitive paint) and time-resolved Schlieren/shadowgraphy (~1 MHz repetition rates) through the continued development of high-powered LEDs. Dr. Kreth is a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the American Physical Society.
Dr. Ryan Bond
Dr. Ryan Bond’s research area is Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). Dr. Bond’s expertise is software and algorithms development for CFD, particularly for high temperature gas dynamics and thermochemistry relevant to hypersonic flows. Prior to joining UTSI, Dr. Bond spent 12 years at Sandia National Laboratories, 7 as R&D staff and 5 as a manager, and 2 years at Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC). Dr. Bond holds bachelor’s degrees in Aerospace Engineering and Mathematics from Mississippi State University, a master’s and Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from North Carolina State University, and an M.B.A. from the University of New Mexico.
Dr. Mark Gragston
Research Associate III
Mark Gragston received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2018. His primary research focus is the development and application of laser and optical based techniques for studying high-speed fluid phenomena, combustion processes, and plasma dynamics. He has experience with various techniques including PLIF, Radar REMPI, LIBS, Rayleigh scattering, Raman scattering, and more. Mark also has an interest in applying advanced image processing techniques to extract quantitative information from high-speed images and the development of novel imaging techniques. He is a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the American Physical Society, and the Optical Society. During his Ph.D., he was awarded a Tennessee Space Grant Graduate Fellowship and two U.S. patents.
Dr. Christopher McKenna
Dr. Christopher McKenna received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Lafayette College in 2012 and successfully defended his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering in 2017 at Lehigh University. During his undergraduate and graduate educations Dr. McKenna utilized both qualitative and quantitative techniques, such as dye injection, PIV, and LDV, to investigate hairpin vortices, trailing vortices, and vortex impingement. In the fall of 2017 he joined the faculty at UTSI as a post-doctorate contracted to the AFRL on the Arnold Air Force Base. Since his addition to the team Dr. McKenna has been assisting both in the completion of the Mach 4 Ludwieg Tube at UTSI, and in the reactivation of Tunnel D on the Arnold Air Force Base.