Dr. Karen J. Nordheden, Ph.D.

School of Engineering - Chemical & Petroleum Engineering
Associate Professor
Primary office:
Learned Hall
Room 4132D
University of Kansas
1530 West 15th Street
Lawrence, KS 66045


Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, University of Illinois (UIUC)

M.S., Electrical Engineering, University of Illinois (UIUC)

B.S., Physics, Michigan State University

Research Interests

  • Plasma, catalysis, plasma diagnostics, reforming

Selected Publications

Jiang, Q., Faraji, S., Nordheden, K. J., & Stagg-Williams, S. M. (2011). CO2 reforming reaction assisted with oxygen permeable Ba0.5Sr0.5Co0.8Fe0.2Ox ceramic membranes. J. Membrane Science, 368(1-2), 69-77.

Jiang, Q., Nordheden, K. J., & Stagg-Williams, S. M. (2011). Oxygen permeation study and improvement of Ba0.5SSr0.5Co0.8Fe0.2Ox perovskite ceramic membranes. J. Membrane Science, 369(1-2), 174-181. DOI:10.1016/j.memsci.2010.11.073

Jiang, Q., Nordheden, K. J., & Stagg-Williams, S. M. (2009). Reaction Performance of Ba0.5SSr0.5Co0.8Fe0.2Ox Asymmetric Oxygen-Permeable Ceramic Membrane Reactor. In AICHE Annual Meeting, Nashville, TN, Conference Proceedings, pp. 539a/1-4.

Slade, D. A., Jiang, Q., Nordheden, K. J., & Stagg-Williams, S. M. (2009). A Comparison of Mixed-conducting Oxygen-permeable Membranes for CO2 Reforming. Catalysis Today, 148(3-4), 290-297.


  • BS, Physics, Michigan State University
  • MS, Electrical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • PhD, Electrical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Research Interests

My research interests are in the areas of microfabrication, plasma processing, and catalytic reforming. Our current project involves plasma catalysis of two greenhouse gases, methane and carbon dioxide, to produce syngas (H2 and CO) in collaboration with the Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis (CEBC). A major drawback of using a conventional dry reforming catalysis method is the high process temperature, which leads to high energy and equipment costs as well as easier coke formation on the catalyst surface. The integration of non-thermal plasma technology and catalysis is an attractive alternative since it should allow for a reduction in the operating temperature of the reforming reactor. The energetic electrons and active species in the plasma (ionized gas) can stimulate chemical reactions even when the bulk gas is near room temperature. When combined with a catalyst, the hybrid plasma catalysis process can promote reaction pathways to form desired products.

High school seniors can apply to the SELF Program, a four-year enrichment and leadership experience
Engineering students build concrete canoes, Formula race cars, unmanned planes, and rockets for competitions nationwide
More first and second place awards in student AIAA aircraft design contests than any other school in the world
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times
KU Today
Current Newsletter

Most Recent: Feb 7th, 2017

Nov 18th Newsletter 

Sept 16th Newsletter

August 25th Newsletter- Welcome to the New Academic Year!


Upcoming Events and Deadlines

Upcoming Events

March 6th​: Petroleum Management Seminar with Thomas Drean | 8AM |1420 LEEP2 (FLYER)

March 7th: Graduate Seminar with Kamy Sepehrnoori from UT-Austin (FLYER)

March 8th: Engineering Student Seminar Series | 12 - 1 | 2112 Learned Hall

March 14th: Graduate Seminar with M. Ali Haider from IIT, New Dehli (FLYER)

March 20-24th = SPRING BREAK!

{Looking for Graduate Workshops? Check out THIS link!}