New Mexico Tech Shock Dynamics Laboratory

Weir Hall 120
Socorro, NM, 87801


fax: 575-835-5209


Michael J. Hargather - Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Weir Hall 120
Socorro, NM 87801


Dr. Michael J. Hargather is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at New Mexico Tech and a Research Scientist at the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center (EMRTC), a research division of New Mexico Tech located adjacent to campus. Dr. Hargather teaches undergraduate classes in thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, and heat transfer, as well as graduate classes in compressible flow, combustion, and digital image processing. Dr. Hargather performs research in the development and application of optical techniques to the study of high-speed compressible flows and explosions. His expertise includes explosive characterization, schlieren image velocimetry, rocket propulsion, and general fluid dynamics. Dr. Hargather actively advises undergraduate and graduate students academically and as a research advisor for a range of research projects including theses. Dr. Hargather earned his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University in 2008. He received a BS in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Physics from Penn State Behrend in 2004. Prior to joining the faculty at New Mexico Tech, Dr. Hargather was a research associate and instructor at the Pennsylvania State University.

Click here for Hargather's curriculum vita.


The Shock Dynamics Laboratory currently employs 5 graduate students and 3 undergraduate student, plus one undergraduate student volunteer.


  • Joshua Smith, graduated May 2016, accepted a job with Sandia National Laboratories. Josh's thesis title was "Design and construction of a fixture to examine the explosive effects of Al / I2O5".
  • Stewart Youngblood, graduated December 2015, accepted a job with Holloman Air Force Base. Stewart's thesis title was "Design and testing of a liquid nitrous oxide and ethanol fueled rocket engine".
  • Michael Shattuck, graduated May 2015, accepted a job with NSWC Indian Head. Michael's thesis title was "Determination of detonation velocity of explosive compounds using optical techniques".
  • Cynthia Romo, graduated October 2014, accepted a job with China Lake. Cynthia's thesis title was "Background-oriented schlieren analysis of shock wave propagation from encased and uncased explosives".
  • Jesse Tobin, graduated September 2014, accepted a job with China Lake. Jesse's thesis title was "Quantitative schlieren measurement of explosively-driven shock wave density, temperature, and pressure profiles".
  • Megan Tribble, graduated May 2014, accepted a job with Sandia National Laboratories. Megan's thesis title was "Application of consumer color cameras as three-color pyrometers".