Hi there! I'm an aerospace engineer, chemist, and geoscientist striving to both protect our world and advance technologies to explore new ones. Sustainability and DEI are just as strong of passions at the core of my work, in and outside of the space sector.

More specifically, my work in industry (Chevron, SpaceX, Benchmark) and academic research (Northwestern - flowable batteries, Stanford - clean combustion) catalyzed my passion for advancing sustainable, reliable fuel and energy systems at the micro- and macro-scale. I have interests in propulsion (chemical, air-breathing) and energy conversion processes like combustion. As a Stanford PhD candidate in the Fluids in Complex Environments (Ihme) lab, I employ the intersection of fluid mechanics, heat transfer, and kinetics to probe underlying phenomena in these areas.

I welcome messages and am always seeking collaborations with other scientists/groups. I am also happy to answer any questions about graduate school, fellowships, aerospace/chemical engineering/geoscience, and SpaceX, or put you in touch with my network, if that is helpful.

Honors & Awards

  • Community Impact Award, Stanford (May 2023)
  • SGF Fellowship, Stanford (March 2021)
  • EDGE Fellowship, Stanford (March 2021)
  • NSF GRFP Fellowship, National Science Foundation (April 2021)

Professional Affiliations and Activities

  • Vice President, Social, American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics (AIAA) Chapter (2022 - Present)
  • President, Women in Aeronautics & Astronautics (WIAA) (2022 - Present)

Education & Certifications

  • B.S, Northwestern University, Chemical & Biological Engineering (2021)
  • B.S., Northwestern University, Earth & Planetary Science (2021)
  • Certificate, Northwestern University, Design (2021)
  • Certificate, UC Berkeley, Haas School of Business, Business Administration (Marketing, Finance, Organizational Behavior) (2018)

Personal Interests

ultimate frisbee, running, hiking, baking, coffee-brewing, reading

All Publications

  • Experimental and numerical investigation of flame stabilization and pollutant formation in matrix stabilized ammonia-hydrogen combustion COMBUSTION AND FLAME Vignat, G., Zirwes, T., Toro, E. R., Younes, K., Boigne, E., Muhunthan, P., Simitz, L., Trimis, D., Ihme, M. 2023; 250
  • Evaluating the Rheo-electric Performance of Aqueous Suspensions of Oxidized Carbon Black. Journal of colloid and interface science Ramos, P. Z., Call, C. C., Simitz, L. V., Richards, J. J. 2022; 634: 379-387


    HYPOTHESIS: The macroscopic properties of carbon black suspensions are primarily determined by the agglomerate microstructure built of primary aggregates. Conferring colloidal stability in aqueous carbon black suspensions should thus have a drastic impact on their viscosity and conductivity.EXPERIMENTS: Carbon black was treated with strong acids following a wet oxidation procedure. An analysis of the resulting particle surface chemistry and electrophoretic mobility was performed in evaluating colloidal stability. Changes in suspension microstructure due to oxidation were observed using small-angle X-ray scattering. Utilizing rheo-electric measurements, the evolution of the viscosity and conductivity of the carbon black suspensions as a function of shear rate and carbon content was thoroughly studied.FINDINGS: The carboxyl groups installed on the carbon black surface through oxidation increased the surface charge density and enhanced repulsive interactions. Electrostatic stability inhibited the formation of the large-scale agglomerates in favor of the stable primary aggregates in suspension. While shear thinning, suspension conductivities were found to be weakly dependent on the shear intensity regardless of the carbon content. Most importantly, aqueous carbon black suspensions formulated from electrostatically repulsive primary aggregates displayed a smaller rise in conductivity with carbon content compared to those formulated from attractive agglomerates.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jcis.2022.12.017

    View details for PubMedID 36542968