For additional information please feel free to reach WIE via telephone at (217) 244-3517 or via email at wie@illinois.edu.

Dr. Alison Dunn – Interim Director

Alison C. Dunn is an Associate Professor and Andersen Faculty Fellow of Mechanical Science & Engineering with affiliations to the Carle Illinois College of Medicine and RailTEC. She joined the Grainger College of Engineering at Illinois in 2014 after earning her PhD from the University of Florida. Her research lab focuses on understanding and controlling the friction and wear of material surfaces, specifically soft materials like gels and elastomers. She won the NSF CAREER Award in 2018 and the ASME Newkirk Award in 2019.

Outside of research and teaching, Alison has been awarded for ‘Excellence in Advising’ in 2017 and 2020. She developed a love for teaching after spending 2 years as a Peace Corps Volunteer and English teacher in Western China 2007-2009, and loves helping others find their place and succeed. Off campus, Alison likes to drink good coffee, hike, or walk along a beach, preferably with her husband and 3 kids.

Brooke Newell – Program Coordinator

Brooke Newell earned a BS in Biology and MPH from the University of Illinois Springfield. During her time with WIE, she has been involved in several women-focused endeavors including academic outreach, meet and greet opportunities, and developing a WIE Ambassador Program. Brooke has two children, two dogs, and enjoys reading and practicing yoga.


Carolyn Hughes – Office Manager

Carolyn Hughes supports the programming efforts of Women in Engineering.  She earned a BS in Engineering Technology with certifications in Automation and Controls, and Robotics from Eastern Illinois University.  Off campus, Carolyn enjoys reading, making soaps and other crafts, coaching youth Jiu Jitsu, and meditating in nature.


Past Directors and Staff

Angie Wolters – Past Director

Angie Wolters is a graduate from Engineering at Illinois, holding a BS and an MS in Civil Engineering, and is a licensed professional engineer. Angie joined Applied Pavement Technology in Urbana, Illinois, after completing her master’s degree. During her 11 years with APTech, Angie worked her way from Engineering Associate to Associate Partner. Angie also has work experience with the higher education division of Pearson Education. In the Undergraduate Programs Office, Angie serves as an academic advisor while directing efforts for Women in Engineering including the overall retention and recruitment efforts of women students.

During her time with WIE, she has been involved in a number of women-focused endeavors including developing a leadership program – WIE Lead – for women engineering students, co-authoring of a book on the accomplishments of women engineers at the University of Illinois, serving on the committee responsible for the artist selection and overall creation and placement of a statue on engineering campus celebrating women engineers, and collaborating with the International Programs in Engineering office to establish a study abroad program for Women in Business and Technology with ORT University in Montevideo, Uruguay. Angie and her husband have two children and live in Mahomet.

Dr. Susan Larson – Past Director

Dr. Susan Larson is an assistant dean and a faculty member in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. She also oversees the First Year Engineering Undeclared Program in The Grainger College of Engineering. She earned undergraduate degrees in physics and German at Washington University in St. Louis. She received her MS and PhD in environmental engineering science at the California Institute of Technology before joining Illinois as a faculty member. She has received campus and national teaching awards. Within The Grainger College of Engineering, she has been recognized with the Everitt Award for Teaching Excellence and the Stanley H. Pierce Award. She has also received an award for Outstanding Teaching in Environmental Engineering and Science from the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors and McGraw Hill. Her research focuses on the behavior of air pollutants and has been recognized with a Presidential Young Investigator Award and an Illinois Junior Xerox Award.

Women and Ideas in Engineering: Twelve Stories from Illinois

Cover of Women and Ideas in Engineering book

The book, “Women and Ideas in Engineering: Twelve Stories from Illinois” was inspired by a similar volume published in 1967 titled “Men and Ideas in Engineering – Twelve Histories from Illinois.” “Men and ideas” highlights “twelve accounts of men, events, and inventions in the hundred-year history of the University of Illinois’ College of Engineering”. The university’s sesquicentennial is the perfect time to complement “Men and Ideas” by releasing this companion book, which will share stories of female engineering alumni, their impact, and their visions.  The stories of these women have proved to be exhilarating and intriguing, and have challenged us to build upon our own stories. Some of these stories are being told for the first time, making us all the more excited for their release. We have marveled at the creativity, determination, brilliance, and hard work of these women, whose discoveries and inventions have benefited us all.

The stories of and reflections by the women in this book speak for themselves.

But Women and Ideas in Engineering: Twelve Stories from Illinois does not end here.
There are still untold stories. And each day, there are new stories to tell.

Buy the Book

Book Appendices

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