Laura J. Pyrak-Nolte is a distinguished professor of the department of physics and astronomy in the College of Science at Purdue University. She holds courtesy appointments in the Lyle School of Civil Engineering and in the department of Earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences also in the College of Science. Currently she is the vice-president for North America for the International Society of Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering, past-president of the International Society for Porous Media and past-president of the American Rock Mechanics Association. Pyrak-Nolte is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a fellow of the American Geophysical Union, recipient of the Reginald Fessenden Award from the Society of Exploration Geophysicists and a fellow of the American Rock Mechanics Association. Her interests include applied geophysics, experimental and theoretical seismic wave propagation, laboratory rock mechanics, micro-fluidics, particle swarms and fluid flow through Earth materials.