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Deborah Besser

Associate Dean

School of Engineering - Dean's Office

  • Education
  • PhD, Education, University of Minnesota
    MS, Civil Engineering (Structural Engineering), Iowa State University
    BS, Civil Engineering, Iowa State University
  • Expertise
  • Engineering education curriculum design, DEI in engineering, project management, engineering economy, seismic analysis and design of bridges
  • Research Interests
  • Engineering education curriculum design, diversity-equity-and-social justice in engineering, project management, engineering economy, seismic analysis, and structural design.

Deb Besser is the Associate Dean and founding chair of the Civil Engineering Department at the University of St. Thomas School of Engineering. She works closely with the Center for Engineering Education Collective coterie and the Study Abroad Faculty cadre. She earned her PhD from the University of Minnesota in Education and MS and BS in Civil Engineering from Iowa State University. She is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of California. Her research focuses on engineering education including inclusive pedagogy, sustainability, and intercultural learning in engineering education. Research grants include two NSF grants and a KEEN grant. Dr. Besser has over forty peer reviewed publications and conference presentations with the American Society for Engineering Education and the National Academy of Engineering. Prior to her academic career, she was a design engineer with HNTB Corporation and completed new design and seismic rehabilitation of high-profile transportation structures.

St. Thomas Courses:

ENGR 100 Introduction to Engineering Design
ENGR 160 Surveying
ENGR 362 Construction & Engineering Economic Analysis
ENGR 271 Roman Structures, Engineering & Society
ENGR 480 & 481 Engineer Design Clinic I & II
EGED 530 Fundamentals of Engineering
EGED 615 Statics, Materials, Structures
TEGR 528 Engineering in the P-12 Classroom
THEO 229/CATH 340 Church & Culture: The Mission of the Engineer