About the Dean

Photo of Sharon L. Wood

Sharon L. Wood

Sharon L. Wood was appointed interim dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin in October 2013. She holds the Cockrell Family Chair in Engineering # 14. With 270 faculty, more than 7,500 students, and annual research expenditures exceeding $150 million, the Cockrell School is a top ranked engineering school.

Prior to her appointment as the ninth dean of the Cockrell School, Wood served as the chair of the school’s Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering for five years. She joined the Cockrell School faculty in 1996.

In addition to leading academic programs at the Cockrell School, Wood leads a $105 million capital campaign to fund the Engineering Education and Research Center (EERC). This $310 million, state-of-the-art facility will transform undergraduate education, and will provide 430,000 gross square feet of open and flexible space for interdisciplinary teaching, research and hands-on student projects.

Wood has been nationally recognized for her research on the earthquake response of reinforced concrete structures. Earlier this year she was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering, one of the highest professional distinctions bestowed upon an engineer. Wood is a fellow of the American Concrete Institute and currently serves as its vice president. She has served on federal advisory committees for the Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program and the U.S. Geological Survey.

Wood’s administrative experience at the university also includes directing the Cockrell School’s Phil M. Ferguson Structural Engineering Laboratory, one of the nation’s leading research centers in the large-scale study of the behavior of bridges, buildings and structural components.

She began her academic career at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she served on the faculty for 10 years. She received her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Virginia and her master’s degree and doctorate in civil engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.