Meet the HAPL team!

The members of the High-Speed Aerodynamics and Propulsion Laboratory come from a variety of backgrounds and are committed to solving the most challenging problems facing hypersonics and unsteady fluid dynamics today.


Associate Professor Stuart Laurence

Hailing from New Zealand, Prof. Laurence completed his undergraduate education at the University of Auckland, receiving a B.A./B.Sc.(Hons) in Philosophy, Physics and Applied Mathematics in 2001. Later that year he moved to the US to pursue his graduate studies at the Graduate Aeronautical Laboratories, California Institute of Technology (GALCIT), Pasadena. He received his M.S. in 2002 and his Ph.D in 2006, the latter under the supervision of Prof. Hans Hornung, with the thesis title "Proximal Bodies in Hypersonic Flow". Following a short post-doctoral stint at GALCIT, Prof. Laurence shipped off to China for a year to study Mandarin. At the beginning of 2009, he moved to Goettingen, Germany, where he worked as a research scientist at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) for almost five years. In July 2013, he took up his present position at the University of Maryland.

Graduate Students

Cameron Butler

Cameron graduated from the University of Virginia in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He then spent a semester doing low-speed CFD related to aircraft icing before joining the lab in Spring 2015. The first few years of his graduate research were spent on the design of HyperTERP and various computational studies. Now that the facility is up and running, his dissertation focuses on the interaction of hypersonic instability waves with sudden angle change on cone/cone and cone/cylinder geometries. Cam is broadly interested in any phenomena related to the field of hypersonics and is supported by a National Defense Science and Engineering Fellowship.

Alvin Pee

Alvin hails from the sunny little island of Singapore where he somehow discovered an interest in supersonic flight in a country with virtually no airspace. He did his undergraduate studies in Aerospace Engineering at Nanyang Technological University where he did some theoretical work on supersonic flows and a final year project on pulsed plasma thrusters. He also spent a semester at the US Air Force Academy working on the FalconLAUNCH static fire instrumentation and flyout simulations. Alvin graduated in 2012 and thereafter worked for a few years as an industry engineer. He joined UMD in fall 2015 with a private sector scholarship and is currently working on the experimental setup for the lab. His main research interests are hypersonic flow and combustion processes in the high Mach number regime.

Tom Whalen

Tom joined the team after obtaining a Bachelor's in Physics from Dartmouth College in 2014 and working briefly at the Chandra X-ray Center in Cambridge, MA. His research interests lie in experimental characterization of hypersonic fluid-structure interactions, optical techniques for identifying boundary-layer transition, and computational studies of the off-design performance of hypersonic waveriders. When not at his desk, Tom enjoys hiking, sailing, and writing sonnets about hypersonics.

Laura Paquin

Originally from Baltimore, MD, Laura is a current PhD candidate as well as a Lockheed-Martin ARCS scholar and Future Faculty fellow. She received her bachelors in aerospace engineering from the University of Notre Dame where she first pursued undergraduate research related to hypersonic boundary-layer transition. With the support of the NDSEG fellowship, she joined HAPL in 2016 and began working on projects ranging from temperature-sensitive-paint (TSP) development to Mach-3 PIV measurements at AEDC Tunnel 9. Her research interests include optical measurement techniques and aerothermodynamics related to reentry flight. Currently her dissertation work investigates the effect of wall-cooling on the boundary-layer stability of a slender cone. Outside of research, she instructs a seminar for undergraduate students in the Flexus program and also serves as the president of the aerospace Graduate Student Advisory Committee (GSAC).

Graeme Gillespie

Graeme is a PhD student from London, Ontario, Canada. He attended Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario and graduated in 2017 with a Bachelor’s in Engineering Physics. At the University of Maryland, Graeme’s work is focused on the ability of molecular non-equilibrium processes to control turbulence-generated acoustic noise under high speed conditions. His research interests also include aero-optic measurement techniques used in hypersonic regimes, particularly Focused Laser Differential Interferometry (FLDI). In his free time, Graeme enjoys hiking and watching sports.

Antonio Schoeneich

Antonio graduated from the University of Kansas with a Bachelor's in Aerospace Engineering and Mathematics in 2017. He spent a year working with the US Air Force before joining HAPL in 2018. His research interests include hypersonic shock-wave/boundary-layer interactions and fluid-thermal-structural interactions, as well as high-speed multi-phase flows. In his free time, he enjoys playing for a local amateur soccer team in the Maryland Majors. He can be contacted at

Distinguished HAPL Alumni