Dr. Joshua Rovey, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology, received the 2011 Young Professional Engineer Award from the St. Louis Section of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. The award, presented to individuals who have made a significant impact to the aerospace community early in their career, was presented at an Oct. 12 banquet in St. Louis.
Rovey studies advanced propulsion systems for next-generation space vehicles. He is developing the Missouri Plasmoid Experiment (MPX) to study the plasma physics of a high-density, heavy-gas plasma propellant.
He says the high exhaust velocity of electric propulsion systems make them desirable, but they’re slow.
“In other words, electric propulsion systems have great gas mileage, but don’t accelerate quickly because current spacecraft don’t have enough power,” Rovey says. “As power levels increase, what’s needed is a new type of propulsion system that has a higher specific power. It must be able to process the higher power levels, but also be lightweight. A higher-density plasma propellant may make this possible.”
Rovey joined the Missouri S&T faculty in 2008. His research interests include plasma space propulsion, plasma aerodynamics and flow control, plasma-based energy systems and medical devices, multi-mode propulsion systems and advanced propulsion materials.
Rovey earned Ph.D., master of science and bachelor of science degrees in aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan in 2006, 2003 and 2002, respectively. Before coming to Missouri S&T, he taught at Parkland College and the University of Michigan. He also worked as a propulsion research engineer for Starfire Industries LLC in Champaign, Ill.
Rovey is a senior member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and a member of the American Society for Engineering Education and the Electric Rocket Propulsion Society.