Karen A. Thole, Professor and Department Head
Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering
The Pennsylvania State University
LOCAL: Centro de Tecnologia, Auditório Professor Luiz Carlos Martins – Sala I-241
About the Speaker
Dr. Karen A. Thole is the head of the Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University. She holds two degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois, and a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin. After receiving her PhD, she spent two years as a post-doctoral researcher at the Institute for Thermal Turbomachinery at the University of Karslruhe in Germany. Her academic career began in 1994 when she became an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 1999, she accepted a position in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Virginia Tech where she was promoted to Professor in 2003. She was appointed as the Department Head in July 2006 at Penn State. Dr. Thole founded the Experimental and Computational Convection Laboratory (ExCCL) and the Steady Thermal Aero Research Turbine Laboratory (START). ExCCL focuses on improving convective heat transfer methods for cooling gas turbine airfoils while START focuses on research related to flow leakages in rotating turbines. She is the Chair of the Board of Directors for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers International Gas Turbine Institute.