Karen Thole to receive the ASME George Westinghouse Medal
Karen Thole, professor and department head of mechanical and nuclear engineering at Penn State, will be honored with the George Westinghouse Gold Medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).
The award was established in 1952 to recognize eminent achievement or distinguished service in the power field of mechanical engineering. ASME will present Thole with the award during the Assembly Honors at the 2015 ASME Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition, Nov. 13-19.
Thole was selected for her outstanding contributions toward better cooling of gas turbine airfoils, particularly the discovery of a leading-edge fillet to reduce vortices in airfoil passages and the development of physics-based correlations used by industry for predicting micro channel cooling and film cooling.
“Receiving ASME’s Westinghouse Award is an honor, not only for me, but for all the outstanding students and colleagues I have worked with over many years.” Thole said. “I am pleased that the research we are doing to improve gas turbines is making a difference.”
Thole has been department head at Penn State since 2006. She directs the Steady Thermal Aero Research Turbine Laboratory, a state-of-the-art gas turbine test facility with continuous operation at realistic engine conditions. Prior to joining Penn State, Thole held faculty positions at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Virginia Tech.
Thole has received significant recognition for her research, teaching and mentoring. She was named a White House Champion of Change in 2011 and in 2004 she was named an ASME Fellow. Thole received her bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her doctorate degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.