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Dr. Karen High

Karen HighProfessor
Department of Engineering & Science Education
Office: 273 Sirrine Hall
Phone: (864) 656-7148


Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University, 1991, Chemical Engineering
M. S., The Pennsylvania State University, 1988, Chemical Engineering
B. S., The University of Michigan, 1985, Chemical Engineering

Research and Teaching Interests:

Karen High earned her B.S. from the University of Michigan in 1985 and her M.S. in 1988 and Ph.D. in 1991 from the Pennsylvania State University. Her main technical research interests are Sustainable Process Design and Multicriteria Decision Making. Her engineering education activities include enhancing mathematics, communication skills, critical thinking and creativity in engineering students and teaching science and engineering to education professionals. Additionally, she works with elementary, middle school and high school teachers and students on engineering projects. She has worked with teachers on integrating STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) into their classrooms. Dr. High is an Affiliate Professor for Project Lead the Way pre-Engineering and has worked with the UTeachEngineering Program at the University of Texas. Dr. High has obtained funding from foundations, industry, local and statewide sources as well as the National Science Foundation for her educational projects.

Recent Courses:

  • ESED 8000 Engineering and Science Education Seminar
  • ESED 8200 Teaching Engineering and Science Undergraduates
  • ESED 8610 Practicum in Mentoring and Teaching
  • ESED 8750 Current Issues in STEM Education Research


S. Bapat, I. Olukoya, C. Aichele, **K. High, “Life Cycle Assessment Study of Process Configurations for the Manufacture of Polymer Grade Lactic Acid,” International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, submitted.

R. Hammack, T. Ivey, J. Utley, K. High, “Effect of an Engineering Camp on Students’ Perceptions of Engineering and Technology: A Mixed Methods Study,” Journal of Precollege Engineering Education Research, under revision.

M. Shokrian, Z. Sheffert, and *K. High, “Screening of Process Design Alternatives Based on Sustainability Metrics: Comparison of Two Decision Making Approaches,” The International Journal of Sustainable Engineering, in press.

S. Bapat, C. Aichele, and *K. High, “Development of a Sustainable Process for the Production of Polymer Grade Lactic Acid,” Sustainable Chemical Processes, in press.

R. Hammack and *K. High, “Effects of an After School Mentoring Engineering Program on Middle School Girls’ Perceptions of Engineers,” Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, 20(1), 11–20 (2014).

M. Shokrian and *K. High, “An Efficient Multi Criteria Process Optimization Framework: Sustainable Improvement of the Dimethyl Ether Process,” Computers and Chemical Engineering, 60, 213, (2014).

M. Shokrian and *K. High, “Application of a Multi Objective Multi-Leader Particle Swarm Optimization Algorithm on NLP and MINLP problems,” Computers and Chemical Engineering, 60, 57, (2014).

B. McCharen, K. High, and K. Weinland, “High School Pre-Engineering Programs: Do They Contribute to College Retention?,” American Journal of Engineering Education, 4 (1), (2013).

O. Shadiya and *K. High, “SUSTAINABILITY EVALUATOR: Tool for Evaluating the Sustainability of a Process,” Environmental Progress and Sustainable Energy, 32(3), 749, (2013).

O. Shadiya and *K. High, “Designing Processes of Chemical Products for Sustainability: Incorporating Optimization and the SUSTAINABILITY EVALUATOR,” Environmental Progress and Sustainable Energy, 32 (3), 762, (2013).

O. Shadiya, J. Talkington, J. Mowen, K. High and J. Weiner, “Sustainable Energy: Myths and Realities,” in Energy Finance, B. Simpkins, ed., Wiley, 2012.

O. Shadiya, V. Satish, and *K. High, “Process Enhancement through Waste Minimization and Multiobjective Optimization,” J. Cleaner Production, 31, 137, (2012).

S. Backoff, A. Redmond, J. Thomas, and K. High, “Girls Helping Girls: Assessing the Influence of College Student Mentors in an Afterschool Engineering Program,” Mentoring and Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 20 (1), 137, (2012).

J. Thomas, A. Redmond, K. High, M. Scott, P. Jordan, and J. Dockers, “Enriching Science and Math Through Engineering: A Middle School Case Study,” School Science and Math Association Journal, 111 (8), 399, (2011).

Honors and Awards:

  • Regents Distinguished Teaching Award, Oklahoma State University, 2014.
  • Selected to Women’s Leadership Academy, Oklahoma State University, 2013.
  • Selected to Chemical Engineering Career and Educational Council, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, National Operating Committee, 2013-2015.
  • Selected to Chemical Engineering Technology Operating Council, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, National Operating Committee, 2009-2011.
  • Oklahoma State University, Outstanding Community Service Faculty, 2009.
  • Oklahoma Science Teacher Association, College Science Teacher of the Year Award, 2008.