Photo of Sean Knecht

Sean Knecht

Associate Research Professor


  • School of Engineering Design and Innovation
  • Engineering Design

222 Engineering Design and Innovation Building


Google Scholar Profile

Research Areas:

Engineering Design




  • BS, Aerospace Engineering, Penn State, 2005
  • MS, Aeronautics and Astronautics, University of Washington, 2008
  • Ph D, Aeronautics and Astronautics, University of Washington, 2012


Journal Articles

  • McKayla Nicol, Ali Kazemi, Sean David Knecht, Sven G Bilén and Girish S Kirimanjeswara, 2024, "Cold-atmospheric plasma medicine: Applications, challenges, and opportunities for predictive control", Plasma, 7, pp. 233
  • Jiajie Wang, Xiaojing Wang, Mohammad AlQahtani, Sven G Bilén, Sean David Knecht, Wei Chu and Chunshan Song, 2023, "Synergetic effect of nonthermal plasma and supported cobalt catalyst in plasma-enhanced CO2 hydrogenation", Chemical Engineering Journal, 451, (4)
  • Jiajie Wang, Mohammad AlQahtani, Xiaoxing Wang, Sean David Knecht, Sven G Bilen, Chunshan Song and Wei Chu, 2021, "One-Step Plasma-Enabled Catalytic Carbon Dioxide Hydrogenation to Higher Hydrocarbons: Significance of Catalyst-Bed Configuration", Green Chemistry, 23, pp. 1642-1647
  • Mohammad AlQahtani, Xiaoxing Wang, Sean David Knecht, Sven G Bilen and Chunshan Song, 2021, "Plasma-Enhanced Catalytic Reduction of SO2: Decoupling Plasma-Induced Surface Reaction from Plasma-Phase Reaction", Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 286, pp. 119852
  • Mohammad S Alqahtani, Xiaoxing Wang, Jennifer Gray, Sean David Knecht, Sven G Bilen and Chunshan Song, 2020, "Plasma-Assisted Catalytic Reduction of SO2 to Elemental Sulfur: Influence of Plasma and Temperature on Iron Sulfide Catalyst", Journal of Catalysis, 391, pp. 260-272
  • Mohammad S AlQahtani, Sean David Knecht, Xiaoxing Wang, Sven G Bilén and Chunshan Song, 2020, "One-step low-temperature reduction of SO2 to elemental sulfur by plasma-assisted catalysis", ACS Catalysis, 10, (9)
  • Jorge E Palomino, Sven G Bilén, Thomas Cawley, Bella Ludwig and Sean David Knecht, 2020, "Combustion of aluminum powder with steam entrained in a helium plasma using a 2.45 GHz microwave plasma torch", Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 53, (18)
  • Timothy R Brubaker, McKayla J. Nicol, Girish S Kirimanjeswara, Christopher A Siedlecki, Ali Kazemi, Philip C. Snyder, Sven G Bilén and Sean D Knecht, 2020, "Influence of dielectric coatings on pin-to-rod nanosecond-pulsed discharges in phosphate-buffered saline", IEEE Transactions on Radiation and Plasma Medical Sciences, 4, (5)
  • McKayla J Nicol, Timothy R Brubaker, B J Honish, Alyssa N Simmons, Ali Kazemi, Madison A Geissel, Connor Whalen, Sean David Knecht, Sven G Bilén and Girish S Kirimanjeswara, 2020, "Antibacterial properties of low-temperature plasma helium jet", Scientific Reports, 10, pp. 3066
  • Timothy Brubaker, Kenji Iskikawa, Hiroki Kondo, Takayoshi Tsutsumi, Hiroshi Hashizume, Hirosama Tanaka, Sean David Knecht, Sven G Bilén and Masaru Hori, 2018, "Liquid dynamics in response to an impinging low-temperature plasma jet", Journal of Physics D, 52, (7)
  • Timothy Brubaker, Kenji Ishikawa, Keigo Takeda, Jun-Seok Oh, Hiroki Kondo, Hiroshi Hashizume, Sean David Knecht, Sven G Bilén and Mararu Hori, 2017, "Dynamic analysis of reactive oxygen nitrogen species in plasma-activated culture medium by UV absorption spectroscopy", Journal of Applied Physics, 122, pp. 213301
  • Sean David Knecht, Raymond P Golingo, Brian A Nelson and Uri Shumlak, 2015, "Calculation of the equilibrium evolution of the ZaP flow Z-pinch using a four-chord interferometer", IEEE Trans. Plasma Sci, 43, (8)
  • Sean David Knecht, Weston Lowrie and Uri Shumlak, 2014, "Effects of a conducting wall on Z-pinch stability", IEEE Trans. Plasma Sci, 42, (6)
  • Uri Shumlak, Joshua Chadney, Raymond P Golingo, D J Den Hartog, Michael C Hughes, Sean David Knecht, Weston Lowrie, Vyachaslav S Lukin, Brian A Nelson, Rachel J Oberto, Jacob L Rohrbach, Michael P Ross and Genia V Vogman, 2012, "The Sheared-Flow Stabilized Z-Pinch", Fusion Science and Technology, 61, (1t)
  • Uri Shumlak, Colin S Adams, Joseph M Blakely, Bei-Jing Chan, Raymond P Golingo, Sean David Knecht, Brian A Nelson, Rachel J Oberto, Michelle R Sybouts and Genia V Vogman, 2009, "Equilibrium, flow shear and stability measurements in the Z-pinch", Nuclear Fusion, 28, (2)
  • Sean David Knecht, Uri Shumlak, Bei-Jing Chan, Raymond P Golingo and Brian A Nelson, 2009, "Results of the inner electrode modification on the ZaP Flow Z-Pinch", Journal of Fusion Energy, 28, (2)
  • Uri Shumlak, Brian A Nelson, Colin S Adams, Bei-Jing Chan, Raymond P Golingo, Sean David Knecht, Keith A Munson and D J Den Hartog, 2008, "Stabilization in the ZaP flow Z-pinch", Journal of Fusion Energy, 27, (1-2)
  • Uri Shumlak, Brian A Nelson, Colin S Adams, D J Den Hartog, Raymond P Golingo, Stuart L Jackson, Sean David Knecht, James B Pasko and Derek T Schmuland, 2007, "Equilibrium Evolution in the ZaP Flow Z-Pinch", Journal of Fusion Energy, 26, (1-2)

Conference Proceedings

  • Sean David Knecht, 2023, "Impact of individualized personal development projects in a Multidisciplinary Capstone course on project success and student outcomes", ASEE Zone 1 Conference Proceedings, pp. 10
  • Uri Shumlak, Raymond P. Golingo, Brian A Nelson, C A Bowers, S A Doty, E G Forbes, Michael C Hughes, B Kim, Sean David Knecht, K K Lambert, Weston Lowrie, Michael P Ross and J R Weed, 2015, "High energy density Z-pinch plasmas using flow stabilization", American Institute of Physics, 1639, (1)

Research Projects

  • September 2023 - September 2026, "Developing Plasma Agriculture Solutions to Improve Vegetable Yield and Quality," (Sponsor: COP: Department of Agriculture).
  • May 2023 - January 2025, "High-Efficiency Methane Conversion to Propane via Plasma-Enhanced Catalysis," (Sponsor: Propane Education & Research Council).
  • February 2022 - April 2023, "Spatially-resolved electric field measurements during plasma-enhanced catalysis of CO2 and H2 to higher hydrocarbons across supported-metal catalysts," (Sponsor: Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory).
  • August 2022 - July 2023, "Low-cost, flexible, physical-plasma devices for treatment of inflammatory skin conditions," (Sponsor: Penn State Center for Biodevices).
  • November 2021 - October 2023, "Cold plasma as a sustainable technology to enhance vegetable production and quality – Level II," (Sponsor: College of Engineering/College of Agricultural Sciences).
  • January 2023 - August 2023, "Bridge Funding: Renewable Energy Integrated-Plasma-assisted Catalytic Process for CO2 Hydrogenation to C3/C4 Hydrocarbons," (Sponsor: SHV Energy).
  • August 2017 - January 2022, "Low-temperature corona plasma discharge treatment of bacterial biofilms on medical implants in the bloodstream," (Sponsor: National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering).
  • May 2022 - December 2022, "Carbon dioxide conversion to higher hydrocarbons," (Sponsor: SHV Energy).
  • November 2020 - October 2021, "Penn State Interdisciplinary Initiative on Plasma Agriculture: Cold Plasma as a Sustainable Technology to Enhance Vegetable Production and Quality - Level I," (Sponsor: Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences).
  • January 2021 - May 2021, "Low-cost, extrudable, biocompatible catheter body for the physical-plasma cardiovascular plasma," (Sponsor: Penn State Center for Biodevices).
  • January 2018 - December 2019, "Development of a Real-Time, Portable Photoacoustic Imaging System for Early Cancer Detection and Imaging," (Sponsor: Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition [MP]).
  • October 2016 - August 2018, "Microwave ignition of aluminum and steam," (Sponsor: Applied Research Laboratory).
  • May 2021 -  , "Temporally- and spatially-resolved measurement of plasma-induced reactive species transport through liquids," (Sponsor: Penn State College of Engineering).
  • December 2023 -  , "Design of the electrical circuit for the plasma patch surface barrier discharge for treatment of inflammatory skin conditions," (Sponsor: Penn State Center for Biodevices).
  • June 2023 -  , "Development of a Plasma Laboratory course at Penn State," (Sponsor: Leonhard Center).

Honors and Awards

  • SMART Scholarship Alternate, Department of Defense, January 2008
  • W. Lamar Kopp International Achievement Award, Pennsylvania State University, January 2004


Service to Penn State:

Service to External Organizations:




The School of Engineering Design and Innovation delivers effective engineering education and unrivaled research opportunities through active, collaborative, project-based, and professionally oriented classroom experiences. The school offers a variety of programs that partner faculty, students, and industry in the study of real-life engineering problems. Our programs teach students to solve real-life problems with innovative solutions. 

School of Engineering Design and Innovation

304 Engineering Design and Innovation Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-2952