Academic Credentials
  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, 2023
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, 2019
Professional Honors
  • IX Power Foundation Colorado Women’s Day “Shattered Glass” Award Finalist
Professional Affiliations
  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)
  • National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
  • National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI)

Dr. Sterling has bachelors and doctoral degrees in chemical engineering with expertise in hydrates with applications for flow assurance in the oil and gas industry. Her other core areas of expertise include thermodynamics and fluid mechanics, including multiphase flow.

Before joining Exponent, Dr. Sterling received her PhD in Chemical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines while working with the Center for Hydrate Research. She performed research on cyclopentane hydrate interfaces to study the contact angle of water on the hydrate surface, as well as the micromechanical force behavior between hydrate particles at the microscale in the presence of crude oil and asphaltenes and/or some chloride salts. Her overall goal was to provide information to industry partners on how their oils behave under different thermophysical and chemical conditions. Dr. Sterling used experimental techniques developed specifically for hydrate study, including an estimated contact angle technique and the use of a micromechanical force apparatus. She also used MATLAB for image processing and analysis for particle video microscope images from an industry flow loop to study the evolution of emulsion and hydrate particle size during hydrate forming events.

Dr. Sterling earned her B.S. in Chemical Engineering, also from Colorado School of Mines where she played 4 years of DII women's soccer. In addition to her athletic and academic studies, she completed undergraduate research projects also on gas hydrate contact angles. During and after her undergraduate studies, Dr. Sterling completed two industry internships. The first was in a process engineering role with Vista Engineering Group at the Coors plant in Golden, CO where she assisted with multiple engineering projects including creation of construction and demolition packages, editing of P&IDs, and statistical analyses to recommend new process equipment sizes. The second internship was in a metallurgy engineering role with Freeport McMoRan at the Technology Center in Safford, Arizona. Here, she performed an extensive statistical analysis to recommend best practices for standard copper-ore splitting techniques by Freeport.