Dr. Cardenas earned her B.Sc. in Aerospace Engineering from Iowa State Engineering. She joined Rocketdyne as a propulsion engineer and worked on the Space Shuttle Main Engines, Atlas Engine, and the X-30 propulsion system. Dr. Cardenas received her M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Environmental and Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara, studying the transport and fate of PCBs and sediments in the Saginaw River. She has been a member of the Engineering department at Harvey Mudd College since 1995, and has served as Associate Dean of Faculty for Academic Affairs. She is the co-author of the Journal of Engineering Education paper, "Use of "Studio" Methods in the Introductory Engineering Design Curriculum" and co-developer of the sophomore-level rocket-based experimental engineering lab course at HMC. Dr. Cardenas is currently exploring novel pedagogy for Introductory Environmental Engineering courses and researching marine hydrokinetic turbines.
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