- Massachusetts Institute of Technology, PhD in Materials Science, 1996
- Michigan State University, BS in Materials Science & Engineering, 1990
- Michigan State University, BA in Chemistry, 1990
- NiTi shape memory alloys
- Materials processing and characterization for the betterment of society and the environment
- Equity in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)
- Engineering Education
Kathy Chen came to Cal Poly in 1999, after working at the Los Alamos National Laboratories in New Mexico. She is also the Director of PEEPS (Program for Engineering Excellence for Partner Schools) and supervises a CSU STEM AmeriCorps VISTA member to increase student success at the college and K-12 level, particularly among traditionally underrepresented students.