Karen Stelling

Contact Information:

City Campus (Lincoln)
W356 NH
(402) 472-5253

Personal Links:

Faculty Advisor, Aerospace Club

Professor of Practice

Academic Degrees

  • Executive MBA (Entrepreneurship) University of Missouri-Kansas City, 2008 (Beta Gamma Sigma honorary)
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 1987 (Tau Beta Pi, Pi Tau Sigma honoraries)
  • LEED Accredited Professional, 2005
  • Registered PE, Missouri, 1992
  • Certified Energy Manager: training and testing




  • 2013 - Present: Professor of Practice, UNL:
    Development and instruction of courses that support the Complete Engineer and the Engineering Leadership Minor. Courses: ENGR 100 Interpersonal Skills for Engineering Leaders; ENGR 200 Professionalism and Global Perspectives; ENGR 320 Leadership, Management, and Ethics; ENGR 400 Professional Ethics and Social Responsibilities. Advisor of Aerospace Club (Support multiple teams in developing research, design, and hands on skills to participate in competitions and NASA programs). Assistant Director of Nebraska Industrial Assessment Center (NIAC), working with students and clients to identify cost and energy savings.
  • 2005 – 2013: Vice President Aviation & Facilities, FES:
    Active in division management of financials, operations, and administrative procedures. Lead Market Segments, Project Managers and Project Assistants through coaching, training, development of processes and tools. Developed and recruited for positions in project management, sustainability, accounting, and administrative support. Initiated responsive adaptations to improve systems and processes and to troubleshoot issues. Provided training and support at all levels. Developed sustainable facility design program and strategy to address client’s needs (sustainable design, energy efficiency, renewable energy, etc.). Initiated growth from one LEED Accredited Professional (AP) to over 250 LEED AP’s, created Sustainability Specialist role, increasing certified projects from 1 to 25+. Provided sustainability training internally and in Qatar. Was Design Project Manager for Qatar Foundation’s Convention Center Extension, a LEED Gold certified facility ($500+mm construction cost, 20+ design subcontractors, approx. one mmsf). Project won 2011 Middle East Economic Development (MEED) award for Gulf Coast Countries (GCC) in Travel & Leisure category. Assigned to lead the recovery of problem design/build projects. Worked with team and client to bring projects to satisfactory completion, rebuild and preserve relationships, and deliver efficient high quality results.
    2000 – 2005: Vice President, FES:
    Led planning and managed client’s outsourcing of their facility and utility engineering departments. Key areas of leadership for this new business included identifying scope, developing the contract, determining personnel benefits, communicating change, transitioning/motivating/improving morale of staff, developing and implementing best practices and cost savings/avoidances ($1mm - $2mm per year). Maintained utility uptime, ongoing processes while performing ~$45mm construction annually.Profit & Loss responsibility.

  • 1987 – 2000: Project Manager – Assistant Mechanical Engineer:
    Progressive responsibilities from facility mechanical system design (HVAC, controls, plumbing, specialty piping systems, fire protection), on-site field construction inspectio, project management, client relationship coordination and program management.

Other Activities:

  • National/Nebraska and Missouri Society of Professional Engineers member, 1989 – Present: Named NSPE Fellow for organization, civic and community involvement and career achievement. Volunteered and held various roles at chapter, state and national levels.
  • Full Employment Council Executive Board/Workforce Investment Board member, 2006 - 2013: Served as Vice Chair; lead Operations Committee; served on Budget & Finance, Youth, and Green Jobs committees.
  • Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Kansas City Metro Industry Council Co-Chair, 2007 – 2013:Assisted in strategic planning, volunteer activities, presentations (to students, teachers, counselors, community), business plan development, and hosting council meetings. (PLTW is an engineering curriculum for middle and high school students. The Kansas City metro area participation grew during this period from two school districts to 26 school districts, serving 79 schools and 13,200 students annually.)
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Engineering Dean’s Advisory Board member, 2010 – 2013
  • American Association of University Women member, 1992 – present: Volunteered, served on and chaired various committees to provide grants and promote education, opportunities for girls and women, local authors, STEM education.
  • Presentations for multiple organizations: Sustainability, Energy Efficiency, Careers in Engineering
  • Additional organizations, volunteer activities, presentations--not listed