Karen Thole

Throughout the course of her career thus far, distinguished alumna Karen Thole has secured more than $22 million in funding for research.

Thole received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from Illinois and completed her Ph.D. at the University of Texas, Austin. Before moving to Pennsylvania State University, she taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Virginia Polytechnic Institute. She is now director of the Steady Thermal Aero Research Turbine (START) facility and the Center of Excellence for Pratt and Whitney, both at Penn State.

Thole is the recipient of several prestigious awards including ASME’s 2016 Edwin F. Church Medal for outstanding service in mechanical engineering education. Read more about her career and accolades here.

Article & photo: Illinois College of Engineering

Vignette: Taylor Tucker, May 2018

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