EMA Consultants

Rod Perala, PhD President 
Rodney Perala, PhD is the president and owner of Electro Magnetic Applications, Inc, and has been with EMA for more than 30 years. He is an internationally recognized authority in electromagnetic effects and system electromagnetic modeling. He has devoted his career to the understanding the interaction of electromagnetic fields with civilian and military systems of many kinds, such as aircraft, missiles, the Space Shuttle, communication facilities, antennas, cables, and ground stations. He is a co-author of the book Lightning Protection of Aircraft (with F. A Fisher and J. A. Plumer of Lightning Technologies, Inc) and has published more than 350 articles, conference papers, refereed journal papers, and reports. In 1991, he (with some coauthors) won the NASA Langley H.J.E Reid Best Paper Award for New Methods and Results for Quantification of Lightning-Aircraft Electrodynamics, a result of several years’ research with the NASA/FAA F-106 thunderstorm research program.

Timothy J. McDonald, PhD Chief Scientist
Timothy McDonald is chief scientist at Electro Magnetic Applications where he has implemented new system-modeling approaches to simulate the interaction of systems and their electronics with electromagnetic environments in a shorter time, with more accuracy, and at a lower cost. He is a consultant to NASA and DoD major primes for specialty engineering of critical systems, development of novel materials solutions to EMI/EMC problems, and in the execution of major programs that require verification to electromagnetic environmental effects.

Specific consulting projects include:
Lockheed Martin NASA Orion MPCV – Lightning, EMC and spacecraft plasma charging simulation and testing
Orbital Sciences MDA Ground-based Midcourse Defense Booster Vehicle – Lightning and HEMP analysis
SpaceX Dragon Capsule – Lightning indirect effects analysis and software training
Bell Helicopter Relentless 525 –  Lightning, HIRF and EMC simulation, design and certification support
Stratolaunch Orbital Eagles and Scaled Composites – Lightning protection design and simulation
Sierra Nevada Dream Chaser – Lightning protection design, simulation and testing
Turkish Aerospace Industries – Lightning simulation training

He received a PhD “with distinction” from Columbia University in Applied Physics and Applied Math in 2007. He received the Raman Touch Award in 2008 for making significant contributions to advancing the human condition through the use of spectroscopy. His paper describing “wiring-up” of Hydrogenase with a carbon nanotube was listed in the American Chemical Society’s “Five Firsts of 2007”. He has authored or coauthored over twenty papers since 2005.

Gregory Rigden EMA Technical Fellow
Mr. Rigden joined the technical staff of EMA in June, 1985. Since that time, he has been involved in various endeavors involving numerical investigations, experimental/laboratory work, and the development of commercially available software products.

Numerical investigations pertain to the study of electromagnetic effects involving computer simulations of EM hazards (e.g. ESD, p-static, EMI/EMC, HIRF, lightning, NEMP, HPM) and the associated interaction with such complex structures as rockets, aircraft, shelters, ground vehicles, ships, antennas, equipment racks, equipment boxes, LRM’s, multilayered circuit boards, microchips, and individual electronic components. These studies have involved both linear and nonlinear phenomena as well as the incorporation of a variety of complex materials such as frequency dependent, magnetic, and full anisotropic substances.

Throughout these investigations Mr. Rigden has developed numerous numerical techniques and approaches. Many of these techniques have been combined into the user friendly commercially available software products called EMA3D and MHARNESS. Mr. Rigden is the principle developer of these software products. He has also developed numerous front end GUI tools to aid in preprocessing and problem definition. He has recently been involved in parallelizing the software product EMA3D.

Cody Weber Senior Scientist/Program Manager
Cody joined EMA in 2004 as an experimental technician investigating soil reflectivity properties for GPS signals, the dust charging of aircraft and the electrical properties of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP).  Since then, his work has been focused on using computational electromagnetics (CEM) to assist in the design and certification support for a wide range of aerospace vehicles.  He has developed numerous high complexity models for military, civilian and specialty engineering applications simulated in lightning, HIRF, HEMP, and EMI environments. Cody has developed modeling techniques and graphical user interface tools to efficiently and accurately incorporate complex cable systems into high fidelity FDTD models. He has recently presented papers at the IEEE EMC conference for his paper on modeling cable complexities in a HIRF environment and the HEART conference for his demonstration of using FDTD techniques to evaluate notional missile responses in an HEMP environment.

Jennifer Kitaygorsky, PhD Senior Scientist/Program Manager
Jennifer Kitaygorsky received a B.S. in Physics from the University of Colorado at Denver in 2001, and a Ph.D. from the University of Rochester Electrical Engineering Department in 2008. As an undergraduate, she was a recipient of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Professional Research Experience Program (PREP) Fellowship. It was followed by a fellowship from the Civilian Research and Development Foundation (CFDR) Junior Scientist Program when Jennifer was attending the University of Rochester.

Jennifer specializes in validation and verification of EMA3D and MHARNESS, EMA’s computational electromagnetics codes, making use of her extensive experimental experience. She is also an expert in measuring electromagnetic properties of anisotropic composite materials and nanomaterials. In addition, Jennifer has consulted for major civilian and military aerospace prime integrators, as well as evaluated inductive interference coupling on railroad tracks from high voltage power lines. She has developed full-wave computational electromagnetic (CEM) simulation, converted CAD drawings to sophisticated numerical models, and performed measurements of RF shielding and EM properties of novel and mission-critical materials. Jennifer has been with EMA since 2008.

Recent Publications

2013 J. Kitaygorsky, C. Amburgey, J.R. Elliott, R. Fisher, R.A. Perala, “Parametric Evaluation of Absorption Losses and Comparison of Numerical Results to Boeing 707 Aircraft Experimental HIRF Results”, to appear in Ultra Wide-Band SP-10 book.

2013 Cody Weber, Jennifer Kitaygorsky, Gregory Rigden, Rodney A. Perala, Robert Fisher, “Evaluation of Complexity of Wire Harness Models in a HIRF Environment”, 2013 IEEE International Symposium on Electro Magnetic Compatibility.

2009 J. Kitaygrosky et al., “Modeling the Effects of Anisotropic Material Properties on Lightning-Induced Current Flow in Structures Containing Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic”, 2009 International Conference on Lightning and Static Electricity.

Bryon Neufeld, PhD Senior Scientist/Program Manager
Bryon earned a PhD in theoretical nuclear and plasma physics from Duke University in 2009.  While at Duke he published multiple articles in the Physical Review on dense plasma systems, and received a Viewpoint recognizing him for excellent research by the American Physical Society.  After graduating from Duke, Bryon worked in the Theory Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he was awarded a Director’s Funded Postdoctoral Fellowship.  At Los Alamos, he continued to work and publish across a wide array of projects related to hot plasmas and electromagnetic systems.  In addition to his technical degrees, Bryon has an MBA from Cornell University, where he graduated in the top 10% of his class.

Bryon joined EMA in 2013.  At EMA, Bryon has performed numerical simulation and model development for a number of electromagnetic effects projects, including lightning indirect effects, lightning direct effects, HIRF, and space charging.  He developed and executed simulation strategies to help determine the space charging risks for NASA’s Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle’s FT-1 and EM-1 missions.  He has also developed computational tools to bridge near-field, table-top measurement data into a format compatible with EMA3D’s numerical simulation, which can in turn be used to extract the far-field EM emission pattern.  He has developed software tools to expand EMA3D’s abilities in the thermal effects of lightning and geometry export for space charging applications.

Outside of work, Bryon enjoys hiking and climbing.  He has climbed all of Colorado’s 14,000 foot peaks and more than twenty of Colorado’s 13,000 foot peaks.

Eric Miller Scientist
Eric received a BS in Engineering Physics from the Colorado School of Mines in 2015. It took him three years to graduate from Mines with high honors. While at Mines, Eric focused on electromagnetism and planetary science. Along with the standard undergrad engineering and physics courses, his coursework included four combined semester courses covering planetary science (astrophysics, satellite remote sensing, etc.) and five combined semester courses covering circuits and Maxwell’s equations.

Eric joined EMA shortly after graduating in May 2015. Since becoming an EMA scientist, he has been involved primarily with the creation of high fidelity models of aircraft. Most of the models Eric has worked with have been for lightning testing and certification purposes.

Outside of work, Eric loves to both write and play music. He is also an active Ultimate player.

Nicole Pothier Scientist
Nicole Pothier received her B.S. in Meteorology/Climatology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2010, an M.S. in Planetary Science from Hampton University in 2012, and an M.S. in Space Science from the University of Michigan in 2014. While at Michigan, Nicole was awarded the 2014 NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship for her proposal to utilize a data mining tool to identify magnetospheric flux ropes in the Earth’s magnetosphere, in order to assess the internal structure of flux ropes and their interaction with surrounding environment.

Nicole joined the team at EMA in 2015, and has been working on the Lockheed Martin Orion MPCV project. She has provided expertise in spacecraft plasma charging of the Orion Crew Module, and lightning direct effects testing of the Launch Abort System.

Outside of work, Nicole enjoys being active, creating things, and exploring Colorado!