“It’s amazing how behaviors like keeping an open mind, listening to customers, and having a good technical understanding can work together to yield some pretty cool discoveries.”
Young Scientist Challenge Role:
3M Lead Research Specialist
3M Business Unit:
Aerospace and Commercial Transportation Division
Meet Dr. Thunhorst. Dr. Kris Thunhorst is a lead research specialist in 3M’s Aerospace and Commercial Transportation (ACTD) Division. She currently serves as the technical program manager for the Compressed Natural Gas Pressure Vessel Product portfolio. Within this important and very new business for 3M, Thunhorst was instrumental in the development of the nanoparticle matrix resin technology, which enables the vessels to be lighter and have a larger volume than the market-leading competitor.
In her 16 years at 3M, Thunhorst has contributed to a number of different businesses and laboratories at 3M including the Corporate Research Process Laboratory, Construction and Home Improvement Division and Optical Systems Division. She has 16 issued patents to date and her work has been recognized with a number of awards including the Corporate Circle of Technical Excellence and Innovation in both 2011 (Individual) and 2012 (Team), the PSI Leadership award in 2012 and Best Overall Technical Paper Award at ACMA (American Composite Manufacturer’s Association) in 2011.