Karen Fletcher

CEO, AIChE's RAPID Manufacturing Institute

Karen A. Fletcher is CEO of the RAPID Manufacturing Institute.  Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment (RAPID) is tenth in the nation’s network of Manufacturing USA Institutes.  RAPID is funded by the Department of Energy with matching funds from industry and academia.  It is designed to deploy new technology to meet DOE’s goals of reduced energy usage and feedstock waste, while delivering improved productivity and lower capital and operating costs by integrating unit processes, and ‘modularizing’ processes with newly developed modular hardware elements that are cost effective, with high efficiency and scalability.

Ms. Fletcher started her engineering career at DuPont in 1982 in Parkersburg, WV as an engineer in Teflon® research and development.  For the next 10 years, she worked in research and development, operations and technical service assignments at various DuPont locations. In 1994, she transferred to the Lycra® business and held positions in technical marketing, product management and global sales. In 1999, she joined DuPont Nonwovens and worked as a technology director and global business leader. In 2004, she transferred to DuPont Titanium Technologies and was appointed global marketing director and Six Sigma champion.

Ms. Fletcher was appointed director of Investor Relations for DuPont in February 2007 and was promoted to vice president the following year. In 2013, she was named Chief Engineer and vice president of Engineering and Facilities for DuPont.  In 2016, she joined the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and was named CEO of the RAPID Manufacturing Institute.

Born in Philadelphia, Ms. Fletcher graduated from the University of Delaware with a master’s degree in chemical engineering.  She serves on the University of Delaware Research Foundation (UDRF) board of trustees.