Lee Lopez is a PhD candidate whose research applies computation methods of investigation to hypersonic aerothermodynamics. Specifically, Lee studies the physical phenomenon of shock-wave boundary-layer interaction (SBLI) and the effectiveness of liquid metals to transfer thermal energy from vehicle surfaces at hypersonic velocities. As a MathWorks Fellow, Lee will pursue new insights about pressure and thermal loads on vehicle surfaces. This research is expected to have major implications for the control of high-speed vehicles in commercial and defense-related settings. The project’s ultimate goal is to quantify the effect of surface cooling, achieved by actively pumping a fluid coolant underneath a hypersonic vehicle’s surface, on SBLI dynamics. The broad potential applications of Lee’s research include enhanced design of hypersonic control surfaces, as well as ramjet and scramjet engine inlets. Through his cutting-edge work, Lee is helping to advance the field of aerothermodynamics, both in basic scientific knowledge and real-world applications.