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.

Postdoctoral Researchers

Wenbo Zhu

Dr. Zhu, originally from Nanjing, China, is a postdoctoral research associate. He earned his BS degree from Shandong University in 2012. Shortly after, he moved to the US and earned his MS degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington where he studied supersonic flow mixing. Afterwards, he attended the Ohio State University and worked on unsteady aerodynamics and flow control. He graduated in 2021 with a PhD degree in Aerospace Engineering under the supervision of Prof. James Gregory and Prof. Jeffrey Bons. Dr. Zhu joined HAPL in 2022. His work is focused on high- altitude flow-disturbance measurements and free-flight force and moment measurements using optical-tracking techniques. Contact:

Hassan Ifti

Dr Ifti joined HAPL in April 2022. Originally from Mymensingh, Bangladesh, he earned his DPhil in Engineering Science (Hypersonics) from the University of Oxford, United Kingdom, under the supervision of Prof Matthew McGilvray. For the scientific contributions in his doctoral thesis entitle, “Transpiration Cooling of a Hypersonic Vehicle,” he won the 2022 UK Doctoral Researcher Award (2nd Prize, Engineering), in a UK-wide academic competition that is awarded annually to junior researchers with promise to be amongst the world class academics of the future. Dr Ifti holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Stuttgart, Germany. Outside the lab, Dr Ifti spends most of his time reading nonfiction books in noisy cafes and playing the game of Cricket. During his time at Oxford, he played for Wolfson College as a right-handed batsman and an off-spinner. For research-related queries, Dr Ifti can be reached at

Graduate Students

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

Samuel Maszkiewicz

Sam, originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is a PhD candidate as well as a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellow and Clark Doctoral Fellow. Before joining HAPL in 2018, he graduated from The Pennsylvania State University where he studied Aerospace Engineering. Sam's research interests are focused on hypersonic shock-wave/boundary-layer interactions, particularly those generated by a fin on a flat plate. Outside the lab, Sam enjoys playing volleyball and is an avid reader. Contact:

Distinguished HAPL Alumni