Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering


Office: Engineering A103F

Dr. Karen Thorsett-Hill

Associate Department Head for Undergraduate Studies

Teaching Professor

Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Karen Thorsett-Hill’s (aka “Dr. KTH”) research interests are in aerothermodynamics of high-speed flow through rocket nozzles and general applications of fluid mechanics and heat transfer. She has a certificate in rocket propulsion from the University of Alabama, Huntsville and advises the Ram Rocketry club.

Dr. KTH’s passion is helping students learn and be excited about thermodynamics, heat transfer and fluid mechanics. As a U.S. Navy veteran with over 20 years of engineering design and project management experience in the military, government, and private industry, she enjoys bringing real-world engineering lessons and examples into the classroom. Dr. KTH taught in the mechanical engineering programs at California State University, Sacramento, University of Colorado, Boulder, and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte before arriving at Colorado State University in 2020.

Dr. KTH serves as the Associate Department Head for Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate Studies, Chairperson of the WSCOE College Curriculum Committee, and WSCOE’s representative on the University Curriculum Committee.

Dr. KTH enjoys spending her free time with her husband and family. She also enjoys running with her dog Micki, backpacking and anything that involves the beautiful Colorado outdoors.


  • Ph.D. 2012, University of North Carolina at Charlotte—Mechanical Engineering
  • M.S. 2010, University of North Carolina at Charlotte—Mechanical Engineering
  • M.B.A. 1997, California State University
  • B.S. 1991, University of Memphis—Mechanical Engineering


Research Interests

  • Aerothermodynamics of High-Speed Flow

  • General Applications of Fluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer

Honors and Awards

  • UNC Charlotte mechanical engineering department nominee for the College of Engineering undergraduate teaching award in 2015, 2016, and 2017.  
  • Faculty mentor to the award-winning 49er Rocketry and Projectile Society and NASA USLI senior design competition team. The team placed first in the nation in rocket design, second in the overall national competition (twice), third in the world for their instrumentation in the National Instruments Student Design Competition, and won UNC Charlotte College of Engineering’s best senior design project award. 
  • Selected as a Levine Scholars faculty affiliate and mentor for North Carolina’s most prestigious merit-based college scholarship program.