Past Student Fellows

Headshot of Katharina Fransen, looking over shoulder with long blonde hair, smiling

Katharina Fransen

  • 2022-2023 J-WAFS Fellow for Water and Food Solutions
  • Department of Chemical Engineering

Katharina Fransen graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2020 with a bachelor’s in chemical engineering and a minor in chemistry. During her undergraduate tenure she served as a mentor in the honors program, the College of Science and Engineering's Introduction to Engineering Program, and the Society of Women Engineers where she also served on the leadership team as the treasurer. 

As a graduate student Katharina is involved in the Diversity in Chemical Engineering group, the graduate womxn in chemical group, and in the course 10 graduate student council. She also mentors a UROP student and is the lead for a sustainability and food systems project.

Katharina’s research focuses on the development of new plastics which are biologically based and biodegradable, optimized for food packaging applications to keep food fresher for longer, and can degrade in the environment to avoid burdening remote communities with plastic litter and waste.

Headshot photo credit: Dawn Sargent-Bragg