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, microfabrication

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.

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