Carmen Pacheco | AIChE

Carmen Pacheco

Scholar in Residence, Mechanical Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder.

Carmen immigrated from Mexico as a teenager and was the first in her family to attend college. She obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees of science in chemical engineering at the University of Arizona in 1999 and 2001, respectively. After working as a process engineer at ExxonMobile and Valero Energy Corporations, in Montana and California, respectively, Carmen started teaching chemistry and engineering courses at the University of California Davis, Sacramento City College, Los Rios Community College and Pima Community College. 

She then went on to teach chemical engineering courses at Columbia University in New York City. In 2010, Carmen started teaching for the mechanical engineering department at CU Boulder as an adjunct faculty. In 2014, Carmen briefly left teaching to start her own food business, selling Mexican salsas and moles at the Boulder County Farmers Market (BCFM), for which she was featured in the Denver Post, the Boulder Daily Camera, Channel 9 News, KGNU radio, and the CU Boulder website for her work as a vendor in the BCFM. 

In 2015, Carmen began introducing sustainable agriculture themes to her GEEN 1400: First Year Engineering Project courses.  In the summer 2019, Carmen began teaching chemistry for CU Boulder’s Miramontes Arts & Sciences Program (MASP), a summer enrichment program dedicated to supporting motivated traditionally underrepresented or first-generation students. In the fall 2019, Carmen implemented a new Design of Coffee course as a technical elective for the mechanical engineering department at CU Boulder. Carmen remains passionate about developing new hands-on courses like the Design of Coffee, which can serve as an introduction to how engineers use their disciplinary training to approach and solve problems outside of the traditional confines of their discipline, as illustrated by the roasting and brewing of coffee, brewing craft beer, and making chocolate.