Dr. Paul Burke is the instructor and curriculum developer for Computational Fluid Dynamics in Johns Hopkins University’s Whiting School of Engineering’s Mechanical Engineering Department. The course (EN.535.735) is a graduate-level course, covering the fundamental theory, development, and application of CFD solvers.
Dr. Burke is also a computational physicist within Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab’s Space Exploration Sector, where he serves as an international expert in the area of multi-phase fluid dynamics in variable gravity environments. He has applied his expertise to study ocean worlds, astrobiology, human space exploration, and In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU). Dr. Burke’s work has utilized data from or directly supported multiple interplanetary missions, including NASA’s Europa Clipper and the European Space Agency’s Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE). His fluid modeling has also supported the Lunar Surface Innovation Initiative (LSII). Dr. Burke has developed Computational Fluid Dynamic models of Molten Lunar Regolith Electrolysis, leading an LSII investigation into the extraction of oxygen and metals from Lunar regolith.
Dr. Burke is a generalist with broad research experiences. He has modeled planetary defense systems, astrodynamics, chaotic systems, spacecraft instruments, laser ablation, and human systems, including aortic blood flow. Supporting the broader physics community, he is a member of NASA’s Fundamental Physics Program Analysis Group.
For undergrad, he attended the University of Virginia, where he double majored in Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Science, and double minored in Applied Mathematics and Materials Science and Engineering. Dr. Burke received his Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from Texas A&M University. His personal and career interests revolve heavily around human spaceflight.
- B.S. Aerospace Engineering & Engineering Science, University of Virginia
- Ph.D. Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University
Senior Professional Staff, JHU Applied Physics Laboratory
1. Berdis, Jodi R., Hibbitts, Charles A., Nord, Michael E., Miller, Richard S., Burke, Paul A., Smith, Dave, John, Jeremy W., NASA STMD LSII/LSIC ISRU Focus Group Update and Path Forward. Annual Meeting of the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group, Lessons Learned in the Current Era of Lunar Exploration Session. Laurel, MD, September 20 – 22, 2023. https://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/leag2023/pdf/2948.pdf
2. Burke, Paul A., Nord, Michael E., Berdis, Jodi R., Hibbitts, Charles A. Oxygen Production on the Lunar Surface: Modeling Molten Regolith Electrolysis and Water Electrolysis at Reduced Gravity Levels. 2023 Accelerating Space Commerce, Exploration, and New Discovery (ASCEND) Conference, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Las Vegas, NV, October 23 – 25, 2023. https://doi.org/10.2514/6.2023-4793
3. Burke, Paul A., Nord, Michael E., Berdis, Jodi R., Hibbitts, Charles A. Exploring the Challenges of Molten Regolith Electrolysis and Oxygen Production on the Lunar Surface. Space Resources Roundtable, Metals and Melts Session. Golden, CO, June 6 – 9, 2023.
4. Berdis, Jodi R., Nord, Michael E., Hibbitts, Charles A., Miller, Richard S., Burke, Paul A., Smith, Dave, John, Jeremy W., Trop, Claire C. The Lunar Surface Innovation Consortium ISRU Focus Group. Space Resources Roundtable, National Plans & Priorities Session. Golden, CO, June 6 – 9, 2023.
5. Burke, Paul A., Waller, Dany C. The Influence of Gravity and Magnetic Fields on Brine Formation and Habitability Across the Solar System. Conference Proceedings. Brines Across the Solar System: Ancient and Future Brines. USRA/Lunar and Planetary Institute. Reno, NV, May 16, 2023. https://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/ancientfuturebrines2023/pdf/2012.pdf
6. Lomax, Bethany A., Just, Gunter H., McHugh, Patrick J., Broadley, Paul K., Hutchings, Gregory C., Burke, Paul A., Roy, Matthew J., Smith, Katharine L., Symes, Mark D. “Predicting the efficiency of oxygen-evolving electrolysis on the Moon and Mars.” Nature Communications Vol. 13, 583 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-28147-5
7. Burke, Paul Andrew, Dunbar, Bonnie J. “CFD Models of Two-Phase Fluid Physics Across The Gravity Continuum: Effects of Solid Surface Energy and Liquid Properties.” Conference Proceedings. 2021 American Society for Gravitational and Space Research (ASGSR) Conference. Baltimore, MD, November 3-6, 2021.
8. Burke, Paul A., Dunbar, Bonnie J. “Development of Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) Models of the Formation and Buoyancy-Driven Detachment of Bubbles in Variable Gravity Environments.” 2021 AIAA SciTech Forum, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Nashville, TN, January 11-15, 2021. arc.aiaa.org/doi/10.2514/6.2021-1838
9. Burke, Paul Andrew. “The Democratization and Future Ubiquity of STEM Education.” Symposium on Imagining the Future of Undergraduate STEM Education. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Washington, DC, November 12-19, 2020. cdn.filestackcontent.com/y5UTY8jRQkCdZK28VmFl?burke.pdf
10. Burke, Paul Andrew; Varnum-Lowry, Daniel; Dunbar, Bonnie J. “Microgravity and Partial Gravity Fluid Physics: An Experimental and Computational Study of Bubble Formation and Detachment.” The 2020 International Space Station Research and Development Conference. September 23, 2020.
11. Hall, Dillon C.; Dunbar, Bonnie J.; Burke, Paul A.; Hajda, Callen J. “Range of Motion (ROM) Analysis for Pressure Garments (EVA and LES) using 3D Photogrammetric Motion Capture.” 50th International Conference on Environmental Systems (ICES). Lisbon, Portugal, July 12-16, 2020. hdl.handle.net/2346/86475
12. Burke, Paul Andrew; Varnum-Lowry, Daniel; Dunbar, Bonnie J. “Microgravity and Partial Gravity Fluid Physics: Bubble Formation and Movement in Variable Gravity Environments.” The 2019 International Space Station Research and Development Conference. Atlanta, GA, July 31, 2019.
13. Burke, Paul Andrew; et al. “Use of Logistics Nodes in Cargo Missions to Mars.” Presented and published at the 2017 AIAA Region I Student Conference. Charlottesville, VA, 2017.
14. Burke, Paul Andrew. “Virginia CubeSat Constellation (VCC) Mission: An Examination of Atmospheric Drag and Orbital Decay of a Constellation of CubeSats.” Senior Technical Thesis. University of Virginia, 2017.
15. Burke, Paul Andrew. “Public and Private: Explaining NASA’s Support.” Senior Research Thesis. University of Virginia, 2017.
Honors and Awards
- Served at Principal Investigator for proposal which won funding as part of the JHU APL’s Space Exploration Sector Quick Innovation Initiative (2023)
- Journal article selected as one of 50 best papers published in “Energy” Research Area, Nature Communications (2022)
- Texas A&M Ph.D. Graduate Excellence Full-Tuition Fellowship (2021)
- Paper selected as winner of The National Academies’ Idea Competition for the Symposium on Imagining the Future of Undergraduate STEM Education (2020)
- 1st place in the graduate and undergraduate division of the 2019 International Space Station Research and Development (ISS R&D) Conference Poster Competition (2019)
- Raven Society (Academic Honor Society at the University of Virginia) (2016)
NASA’s Fundamental Physics Program Analysis Group
Lunar Surface Innovation Consortium (LSIC)
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)