Women’s Energy/Water Seminar to Feature Kutchko on Feb. 9

Pennsylvania State University

The spring 2023 Celebrating Women in Energy and Water Research seminar series continues Thursday, Feb. 9, with two seminars from Barbara Kutchko, a senior research scientist with the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). The free seminars are open to Penn State faculty, staff and students.

The first discussion, “A Passion for Science: Getting Lost and Finding Myself Again,” will be held at 11 a.m. in 402 Steidle Building. Kuthko will discuss the wayward path she took across many scientific stepping stones to discover her true passion for science, and how the journey prepared her for a research career at the NETL.

The second talk, “A Sustainable and Prosperous Energy Future with the National Energy Technology Laboratory,” will be held at 4 p.m. in 401 Steidle Building. The talk will center on Kuthko’s work in one of NETL’s focus areas, in the geological and environmental sciences (GES). Research in GES tackles the environmentally prudent development of energy from fossil energy sources with a focus on how natural systems behave at both the Earth’s surface and subsurface. Major efforts in GES include driving innovation and environmentally sustainable solutions regarding the long-term storage of CO2 and H2, as well as legacy fossil energy systems. Kutchko will provide an example of a successful endeavor between NETL, industry and regulatory agencies to ensure safe and reliable oil production in the Gulf of Mexico.

Kutchko specializes in wellbore isolation, oil well cementing and subsurface materials characterization. She currently represents NETL on API’s Cement Subcommittee 10C which develops and maintains standards on various oil and gas wellbore cementing procedures for the U.S. petroleum industry. Her research has informed federal policy and increased scientific understanding of the chemical reactions that occur in geological formations under carbon sequestration conditions. She is the recipient of a 2016 Pittsburgh Women in Energy award, a 2015 Pittsburgh Energy Award in Upstream, and a 2014 Federal Executive Board Excellence in Government Award. She has a master of science degree in geology from the University of Pittsburgh and a doctorate in civil and environmental engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

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