Rice University

Events at Rice


Mechanical Engineering

Speaker: Karen Flack
Professor and Chair, Mechanical Engineering
United States Naval Academy

You are not an Impostor

Monday, April 3, 2017
3:30 PM  to 4:30 PM

128  Mechanical Engineering Building
Rice University
6100 Main St
Houston, Texas, USA

Have you ever had difficulty internalizing accomplishments, think the success you’ve achieved was a fluke/luck/good timing, or that you’ve done a good job of fooling people to believe you are more intelligent than you actually are? These thoughts may come with a nagging feeling in the back of your mind that eventually you will be found out, and everyone will know that you are the one who doesn’t belong. The term impostor syndrome is used to designate an internal experience of intellectual phonies, which appears to be particularly prevalent and intense among a select sample of high achieving individuals. Self-doubt and overeager self-criticism can be crippling to many individuals in the STEM field. In this seminar, I will give some thoughts on how to thrive in a male dominated field while navigating some of the frustrating/tricky/self-doubting obstacles you face along the way.

Biography of Karen Flack:
Karen A. Flack is a Professor and Chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. She received a bachelor’s degree from Rice University, a master’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley and a Ph.D. from Stanford University, all in Mechanical Engineering. Professor Flack teaches courses in thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, as well as wind and tidal power. Her research focuses on turbulent boundary layer physics with a concentration on rough wall boundary layers and frictional drag prediction. Recent work also includes performance characteristics of tidal turbines in unsteady flow conditions. She is on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow and the Journal of Turbulence. She is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and has received the following: an ASME award for best paper in the Journal of Fluids Engineering, a Pi Tau Sigma teaching award, the Naval Academy Research award and United States government meritorious service medals.

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