Professor and Coordinator, Mechanical Engineering Technology
Licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Maine
2022 Fellow, Society of Women Engineers
2012 University of Maine Presidential Public Service Achievement Award
2010 Society of Women Engineers Outstanding SWE Counselor Award
M.S. Industrial Mathematics, University of Kaiserslautern, Germany, 1993
B.S.E., Mechanical Engineering, Arizona State University, 1983
B.S. Education, State University College at Oneonta, NY, 1979
Karen J. Horton, P.E. joined the MET faculty in the Fall of 1997 from Bath Iron Works where she worked for five years in Noise, Shock and Vibration building Aegis Destroyers. Prior to pursuing her Masters Degree she spent three years as a Mechanical Engineer at the Naval Coastal Systems Center in Panama City, Florida and taught Math and Electronics for a year at Ramstein American High School, Germany. She has lived in New York, Arizona, Iceland, Florida, Germany, and Maine.
Prof. Horton is passionate about increasing the number of women and other underrepresented groups in the engineering career fields. She has served as the Advisor to the student section of the Society of Women Engineers for many years, and she encourages young women to pursue engineering as a career. From 2010 to 2016 she was a co-Principal Investigator on a National Science Foundation ADVANCE grant at the University of Maine to increase the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women faculty members in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields and in the social and behavioral sciences. From 2002 to 2010 she served as the Assistant Director then the Director of the Creative design at CAD Camp, which offered over $62,000 in scholarships to students in groups underrepresented in engineering including girls, minority students, and underprivileged students.
As MET Program Coordinator, Prof. Horton provided collaborative leadership in the planning of the MET Suite of the Engineering Education and Design Center starting with the first building programming meeting in January 2018. She worked closely with the MET faculty members and the Office of Facilities Management to support the development of the new MET facilities in this exciting new building.
Prof. Horton teaches Introduction to Mechanical Engineering Technology, Design I and Design II, and Industrial Vibrations. She has also taught Technical Drawing, Manufacturing Technology, Introduction to CAM and CAE, Fluid Flow Technology, CAD/CAM Projects, Engineering Materials, and Virtual Preservation of Historical Structures. Students have worked on independent studies with Prof. Horton in a variety of areas including the virtual preservation of colonial structures in the Virgin Islands National Park, a student leadership seminar in which upper class students organize and lead peers in mentoring first and second year students, and the development of new laboratory equipment.