After reading lots of science fiction as a kid, Patrick Neumann decided to push the limits of science fact by enrolling at the University of Sydney to study aerospace engineering and physics after finishing high school. As part of his undergraduate project work, he developed the idea of using a pulsed cathodic arc plasma source as a spacecraft thruster. This idea for a solid fueled electric thruster was developed through his master's and doctoral work, resulting in his PhD thesis. The main thrust of his PhD was the measurement of certain efficiency metrics for various fuels under a range of conditions, culminating in the determination that magnesium could, under the right conditions, be more efficient than any flight rated thruster, develop appreciable thrust and require only modest amounts of power to run. Since then, he has set up a company to commercialise his developments, with the eventual goal of using it to power spacecraft through the inner solar system. An avid brewer and historical re-enactor, Patrick is currently based in Sydney and is happy to talk about his work to all interested people.