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K-State Today

August 26, 2019

Keen highlighted in United Nations publication

Submitted by Ray Buyle

Julia Keen, professor in the GE Johnson Department of Architectural Engineering and Construction Science in the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering, is one of seven U.S. women engineers highlighted in "Women in the Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Industry: Personal Experiences and Achievements," a publication of the United Nations Environment Programme.

The Programme's OzonAction and UN Women booklet shines a spotlight on the largely untold story of women working in the heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration sector, focusing on their motivation, background, challenges and daily work experience. The publication considers these professionals to be pioneers and role models whose stories should inspire a new generation of young women to enter the field and follow in their footsteps.

The exposes focus on the tremendous contributions to society of each of these women, with Keen's specifically noting her experience as a mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems design engineer, her impact as an educator at Kansas State University, and her role as a trainer of industry professionals through her extensive involvement with the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. Also highlighted in the publication as another one of the outstanding seven U.S. women engineers is fellow K-State alum Sheila Hayter, mechanical engineering, class of 1990.

One of the United Nation's areas of focus is the appropriate implementation of refrigeration and air-conditioning technology to assist countries in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Specifically, it contributes to achieving food security, improved nutrition and sustainable food systems, ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being, and promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth. Encouraging women to pursue refrigeration and air conditioning careers and facilitating the process for them also contributes to gender equality and empowering women and girls.

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