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  • Contact Info

Ali, Hisham

Assistant Professor


Research Areas research areas


research overview

  • My research program is aimed at enhancing fundamental understanding of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) interaction for aerospace plasmas encountered during hypersonic flight, or magnetoaerodynamics. Utilizing a magnetic field applied from within a vehicle, these MHD interactions can generate both energy and forces that can be utilized for applications such as hypersonic trajectory control. MHD interactions directly impact U.S. competitiveness (hypersonics superiority), economics (expanded hypersonics facilities), and energy security (MHD and nuclear fusion plasmas). However, fundamental aspects of plasma formation and transport properties in these hypersonic regimes are not well-understood and validated, particularly in the presence of external magnetic fields. For typical hypersonic flight profiles, the potential for MHD interactions is strongest at higher altitudes with lower pressures than those for which aerodynamic forces and heating are strongest. Current high-enthalpy hypersonic plasma facilities are aimed at studying aerodynamic heating and do not simulate the most magnetoaerodynamically-relevant flow conditions. At the University of Colorado Boulder in my Magnetoaerodynamics and Aerospace Plasmas Laboratory (CU-MAPLAB), a unique Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) Wind-Tunnel Facility is being implemented that will enable us to experimentally investigate these magnetoaerodynamic effects.


courses taught

  • ASEN 3113 - Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2023
    Focuses on the applications of the first and second laws of thermodynamics to control volumes and teaches the fundamental concepts of different modes of energy and heat transfer. Learn to use these concepts in gas dynamics, high-speed vehicle spacecraft design, environmental systems, and energy analysis.
  • ASEN 5519 - Selected Topics
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2022
    Reflects upon specialized aspects of aerospace engineering sciences. Course content is indicated in the online Class Search. May be repeated up to 9 total credit hours. Recommended prerequisite: varies.


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