Kristin Thunhorst

Kristin Thunhorst

Kristin earned her BS in chemical engineering at Purdue University, and an MS and PhD from the University of Colorado, Boulder, with a focus in photopolymerization and membrane separations. 

Currently, she is Staff Scientist in the Industrial Business Development Research Group at 3M Center. Her career at 3M is distinguished by technical achievements and a strong commitment to mentoring and service. Highlighting her technical accomplishments, she has led projects and new products that have resulted in over $200M in revenue for 3M, and she has been selected for an unprecedented six Circle of Technical Excellence and Innovation Awards.

Kristin works across divisions at 3M, developing projects in areas including optics, materials, aerospace, and energy. Her work has resulted in 22 issued U.S. patents to date. As one example, she developed and implemented a new approach to high pressure compressed natural gas containers, a technology that permitted trucks to be powered by CNG, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30-50% as compared to diesel.

In addition to her technical achievements, Kristin is a devoted mentor of scientists and future scientists. She conducts weekly meetings with mentees at 3M, and spends time each week mentoring children participating in the Discovery Education — 3M Young Scientists Challenge.