Sharon L. Wood

Sharon Wood was destined to become an engineer from a young age—her father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were all civil engineers.

“When I was about 8 years old, my dad took me to a construction site where he was working,” Wood said. “I walked around with him and watched the building going up, and that was it—right then I decided I wanted to be an engineer.

Wood came to Illinois as a grad student and earned her Master’s and PhD in civil engineering. She then served on the Illinois faculty for ten years before moving to the University of Texas at Austin, where she eventually became the first female chair of the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering.

With no intention of slowing down, Wood later made history again by becoming the first female dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering. Read more about her here.

UT-Austin bio

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