Dr. Maria K. Burka is the Program Director of the Process and Reaction Engineering (PRE) program in the Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental and Transport Systems (CBET) Division of the National Science Foundation. Her responsibilities include evaluation and management of research and educational grants to academic institutions in the areas of chemical and biochemical reaction engineering, process control and process design as well as reactive polymer processing. Past employment positions have included Senior Scientist with the US. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a member of the faculty of the Chemical Engineering Department of the University of Maryland at College Park, and process design engineer with Scientific Design Company in New York City.
She received B.S. and M.S. degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Princeton University, all in chemical engineering. Her research interests are in chemical process design and control.
She is active in a number of professional organizations, including the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), the American Chemical Society (ACS), the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and the American Association of University Women (AAUW). A past member of the Board of Directors, she was also the 2011 President of AIChE. She has served as Secretary/Treasurer and a Director of the Computer and Systems Technology (CAST) division, as a Director anc Chair of the Catalysis and Reaction Engineering (CRE) division, as chair of the National Capital Section, and as vice chair of the International Committee. At present she is the Chair of the Public Affairs and Information Committee (PAIC) and is on the Continuing Education and International Committees.