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Message from the Head

Dear Alumni and Friends of the School,


I am so honored and excited to have the opportunity to be the next Head of the School of Chemical Engineering at Oklahoma State University.  For those that don’t know me, let me give you a quick introduction. I am originally from Enid, OK where I grew up working summers for the Sun Oil company. I am a graduate of the Chemical Engineering program at OSU with a BS in 1997 and a PhD in 2003. In between, I received a MS in Bioengineering from the University of Utah in 2000. After my PhD, I worked in the biotechnology sector for three years before returning to OSU to start my faculty career in 2006. Something about OSU and the Stillwater community kept pulling me back throughout my career. Looking back, I believe it was the great people and opportunities, which continue today.


I want to thank our previous Head, Dr. Geir Hareland, for his leadership of the school for the last three years and congratulate him on his new position as the Director of CEAT’s Interdisciplinary Energy Initiative, where he will be helping to lead efforts at the new Hamm Institute for American Energy at OSU.  We continue to have many other changes in the school which include the hiring of our 5th faculty member in the last five years, which brings us to 20 faculty in the school, the most in School history. We have also hired new staff members to replace those that have retired after many years of excellent service in the school. Currently, we have approximately 230 undergraduate and 45 graduate students in the school that we serve. Our students are some of the top students on campus, receiving many awards and serving in many leadership positions. In turn, these students become some of the best alumni worldwide that generously give back to our program. 


In the future, the School would like to connect with more of our alumni and friends to share about all of the great achievements of our students and faculty. Please be looking for new content to show up on our website: Chemical Engineering | Oklahoma State University ( and various social media sites: OSU CHE | LinkedIn; OSU CHE (@CHEatOKSTATE) | Twitter; OSU CHE | Facebook. If you have not been back to campus lately, then I invite you to stop by the school for a visit. I look forward to showing you our outstanding facilities, which include our completely remodeled home on the fourth floor of Engineering North with new student spaces, classroom, conference rooms, and faculty offices; ENDEAVOR, our state-of-the-art Interdisciplinary Laboratory Building, that houses the Valero Process & Transport lab that is used for our Unit Operations Labs; and the Advanced Technology Research Center that houses the research labs where our faculty are performing cutting edge research and the Student Excellence Center that includes student tutoring, career, and IT services.  All of these facilities and resources were made possible by the support we receive from our alumni and friends of the school, some of which are named in recognition of their contributions.


The future of the school looks bright as we continue to improve our rankings and reputation as top chemical and petroleum engineering programs that provide high-quality educational experiences for our students to be the next generation of engineers in both traditional and emerging fields. We are also working to make an impact on our nation’s future energy needs with our diverse research programs in petroleum, gas separation and transport, carbon capture and sequestration, geothermal, green and sustainable materials, batteries, hydrogen, biofuels, and renewables.  There is a long, rich history of our school with many great leaders that came before that helped shape the school and make it what it is today. I look forward to standing on the shoulders of those that came before me and with your support there is no limit to what we can achieve for our future. Go Pokes!



Heather Gappa-Fahlenkamp

Professor and Head

Edward Bartlett Chair in Chemical Engineering

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