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• University of Maryland, College Park, MD (GPA: 3.92)

Ph.D., Aerospace Engineering, November 2017

M.S., Aerospace Engineering, May 2015

• College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA (GPA: 3.56)

B.A., Physics, 2006

Programming & Software

Proficiency: C, object-oriented Python, Bash, CUDA, NumPy, Plotly, Matplotlib, reveal.js, LaTeX/TikZ, MATLAB/MEX  HPC/Linux/Vim/Tmux/SVN development environment
Moderate experience: C++, C#, Pandas, SciPy, TensorFlow, AWS, HTML/CSS, GitHub, Jenkins
Some experience: CMake, OpenMP, VTK/Paraview, Julia, Visual Studio

Relevant Experience

• Tech-X Corporation, Boulder CO

Improved the algorithm for the speed-limited particle-in-cell (SLPIC) method and modified the C++ source code, resulting in a 1.5× speed increase and a 75% decrease in error for the relevant canonical test problem.

Developed an object-oriented framework with Python/NumPy/SciPy to detect a when a simulation reaches steady-state using a combination of t-tests and f-tests between temporally delineated data windows, enabling comparisons of results between simulations of differing time-scales.

Delivered an internal presentation on creating interactive/web-friendly/engaging presentations with reveal.js/Plotly and provided a company-themed template for co-workers to use for their conference presentations.

Simplified the process of accepting new test results in Tech-X’s CMake/Python automated testing framework, by implementing automatic plotting of failed tests on Linux/Mac/Windows and by working with the QA team to have these plots saved as build artifacts for easy access to developers.

Created a test harness to characterize computational performance and memory usage differences across code modifications for hundreds of test problems, using Bash/Python/Pandas resulting in quick turnarounds in performance reporting for computational engine developers.

• Personal/hobby projects

Designed a neural network on AWS to predict the output of a discontinuous function of two variables with Python/NumPy and then translated it into TensorFlow.

Created a minimal computer game using Unity3D and object-oriented C#.

• Space Power & Propulsion Laboratory, University of Maryland

Applied parameter-sweep automation of simulations on a GPU as well as on Deepthought2 (University of Maryland HPC system) to accelerate computation.

Used GPU computing to generate large sets of data as a basis for creating a new heuristic model for Coulomb collisions, published in APS Physical Review.

Translated serial MATLAB simulation code into C and parallel CUDA code resulting in a 150× speedup.

Generated 3D visualizations/animations to effectively communicate device geometry and plasma behavior.

Trained undergraduate research assistants and, as the de facto in-house simulation expert, assisted fellow graduate students with their simulation codes and visualizations, thereby enhancing institutional knowledge in the lab.

• Eagleworks LaboratorIES, Q-Thruster project, NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX

Revamped existing particle simulation code by replacing inefficient and inaccurate code with improved code, validated the correct physics of each component, and translated C code into CUDA resulting in a 21× speedup.

Used simulation to make predictions on thruster performance which agreed well with experimental results: simulation now exists as a tool to characterize full-scale performance.

• Traveling Wave Direct Energy Converter Project, EP3, NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX

Designed and operated a high-voltage 2 kHz switch and connected it to electrodes in a vacuum chamber and, with these components, modulated a charged particle beam and measured the flux.

Designed, calibrated, and operated an ion current probe with an oscilloscope and a magnetic sensor probe to profile the particle beam and make design recommendations for a second-generation experiment.

Developed a simulation of the experiment, coupling plasma kinetics with electronics and resulting in a recommendation of optimal operating parameters, which in turn advised hardware purchases.


Sedwick, R. J., Chap, A. M., Continuous Electrode Inertial Electrostatic Confinement Fusion, US Provisional Patent Application 62/367,410, July 27, 2016


NASA Space Technology Research Fellow – 2013-2017

Best student presentation, three consecutive years at the annual US-Japan Workshop on Inertial Electrostatic Confinement Fusion: Kyoto University, Japan, 2013; The University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2014; and The Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan, 2015


See on Google Scholar


Chap, Andrew M., Sedwick, Raymond J., “Coulomb Collision Model for Use in Nonthermal Plasma Simulation”, Phys. Rev. E 95:6 063209 (2017)Alternate link

Chap, Andrew M., Sedwick, Raymond J., “One-dimensional Semianalytical Model for Optimizing the Standing-Wave Direct Energy Converter”, AIAA Journal of Propulsion and Power 31:5 1350-1361 (2015)

Werner, Gregory R., Jenkins, Thomas G., Chap, Andrew M., Cary, John R., “Speeding up simulati ons by slowing down particles: Speed-limited particle-in-cell simulation”, Physics of Plasmas 25:12 1 23512 (2018)

Ph.D. Thesis

Chap, Andrew M., Simulation and Optimization of an Inertial Electrostatic Confinement Fusor University of Maryland (2017)

Conference papers:

Chap, Andrew M., Sedwick, Raymond J., “Simulation and Optimization of the Continuous Grid Inertial Electrostatic Confinement Fusion Device” 53rd AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference 4678 (2017)

Chap, Andrew M., Sedwick, Raymond J., “Inertial Electrostatic Confinement Fusion Simulation and a Statistical Treatment of Coulomb Collisions” 52nd AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference 4776 (2016)

Chap, Andrew M., Sedwick, Raymond J., “Simulation of an Inertial Electrostatic Confinement Device Using a Hermite N-body Individual Time-step Scheme”, 51st AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference 3860 (2015)

Chap, Andrew M., Sedwick, Raymond J., “A Hybrid Particle-in-cell Simulation for a Multiple Grid Magnetic Core Inertial Electrostatic Confinement Device”, 50th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference 3516 (2014)

Chap, Andrew M., Tarditi, Alfonso G., Sedwick, Raymond J., “Numerical and Experimental Investigation on the Traveling Wave Direct Energy Converter Concept”, 50th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference 3559 (2014)

Chap, Andrew. M., Tarditi, Alfonso G., Scott, John H., “A Particle-in-cell Simulation for the Traveling Wave Direct Energy Converter (TWDEC) for Fusion Propulsion” 49th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference 3912 (2013)

Tarditi, Alfonso G., Chap, Andrew M., Wolinsky, Jason, Scott, John H., “Progress towards the Development of a Traveling Wave Direct Energy Converter for Aneutronic Fusion Propulsion Applications”, 51st AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference AIAA 3861 (2015)


Graduate school transcript

General GRE scores

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