nordica maccarty portrait
312 Rogers Hall
Mechanical, Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering

Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Evans' Scholar of Humanitarian Engineering

Thermal-Fluid Sciences
Humanitarian Engineering


  • Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Iowa State University, 2015
  • MS, Mechanical Engineering, Iowa State University, 2013
  • BS, Mechanical Engineering, minor in Business Administration, Iowa State University, 2000

Research Interests

Dr. MacCarty’s research interests lie in understanding the relationships between energy, society and the environment through integrated complex systems modeling, thermal fluid sciences, ethnography, and engineering design applied to global humanitarian needs. 


Dr. Nordica MacCarty is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Oregon State University where she is an active contributor to the growing humanitarian engineering program. Her research is focused on the design and evaluation of clean water and energy projects with particular attention to user issues including usability and sensor-based monitoring. Many of her graduate students are earning dual degrees in mechanical engineering and applied anthropology, and are also working to commercialize technologies researched or developed in her lab. She serves as Associate Editor for the journal Energy for Sustainable Development and was recently recognized with the Elevating Impact Award for social entrepreneurship from the Lemelson Foundation.

Dr. Nordica MacCarty is a 2020 OSU International Service Award winner. Her work is funded by the National Science Foundation, VentureWell program, and other private foundations. She is faculty co-advisor for OSU’s Engineers Without Borders chapter and has developed an interdisciplinary faculty-led study abroad course entitled “Household Energy in Guatemala”. Prior to joining the OSU faculty in 2015, she spent nearly 10 years as an international consultant building capacity at projects and universities in developing countries for the design and testing of renewable household energy systems, and was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow.

She has been at Oregon State since 2015.

Selected Publications

Ventrella, S. Zhang, N. MacCarty. Integrating rapid ethnographic techniques in design for development: a case study for design of a cookstove monitoring system. In press for Design Studies.

MacCarty, S. Bentson, K. Cushman, J. Au, C. Li, D. Still. Stratification of particulate matter in a kitchen: A comparison of empirical to predicted concentrations and implications for cookstove emissions targets. In press for Energy for Sustainable Development.

Ventrella and N. MacCarty. Monitoring impacts of clean cookstoves and fuels with the Fuel, Usage, and Emissions Logger (FUEL): field testing and reporting capabilities. Energy for Sustainable Development 52:82-95. 2019.

Moses, N. MacCarty. What Makes a Cookstove Usable? Trials of a Usability Testing Protocol in Uganda, Guatemala, and the United States. Energy Research and Social Science 52:221-235. 2019.

Burleson, B. Tilt, K. Sharp, N. MacCarty Reinventing boiling: A rapid ethnographic and engineering evaluation of a high-efficiency thermal water treatment technology in Uganda. Energy Research and Social Science. 52:68-77. 2019.

Moses N., M. Pakravan, N. MacCarty. Development of a practical evaluation for cookstove usability. Energy for Sustainable Development. 48:154-163. 2019.

Stevenson P., C. Mattson, KM Bryden, N. MacCarty. Toward a Universal Impact Metric for Engineered Products in Developing Countries. Journal of Mechanical Design. 140(4) :041404-041404-10. 2018.

Suram S., N. MacCarty, and K.M. Bryden, “Engineering design analysis utilizing a cloud platform” Advances in Engineering Software 115:374-385. 2018.

Still D., S. Bentson, N. Murray, N. MacCarty. Laboratory experiments regarding the use of filtration and retained heat to reduce particulate matter emissions from biomass cooking. Energy for Sustainable Development.42:129-135, 2018.

MacCarty N. and K.M. Bryden, “Costs and impacts of potential energy strategies for rural households in developing communities” Energy 138:1157-1174, 2017.

MacCarty N. and K.M. Bryden, “An integrated systems model for energy services in rural developing communities” Energy 113:536-557, 2016.

MacCarty N. and K.M. Bryden, “A generalized heat transfer model for shielded-fire household cookstoves” Energy for Sustainable Development, 33:96-107, 2016.

MacCarty N. and K.M. Bryden, “A unified set of experimental data for cylindrical, natural draft, shielded single pot wood-fired cookstoves” Energy for Sustainable Development, 26:62-71, 2015.

 MacCarty N. and K.M. Bryden, “Modeling of Household Biomass Cookstoves: A Review,” Energy for Sustainable Development, 26:1-13, 2015.

MacCarty N., D. Still, and D. Ogle, “Fuel Use and Emissions Performance of Fifty Cooking Stoves in the Laboratory and Related Benchmarks of Performance,” Energy for Sustainable Development, 14(3):161-171, 2010.

Roden C.A., T.C. Bond, S. Conway, A.B.O. Pinel, N. MacCarty, and D. Still, “Laboratory and Field Investigations of Particulate and Carbon Monoxide Emissions from Traditional and Improved Cookstoves,” Atmospheric Environment 43:1170-1181, 2009.

MacCarty N., D. Ogle, and D. Still, “A laboratory comparison of the global warming impact of five major types of biomass cooking stoves,” Energy for Sustainable Development, 12(2):56-65, 2008.