Debra Larson

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  • MS Civil Engineering 1978

Debra Larson received her baccalaureate and master’s degrees in civil engineering at Michigan Tech in, respectively, 1978 and 1981.  She went on to complete her PhD from Arizona State University in 1994.  Dr. Larson’s academic career began in 1994, after an earlier career as a civil and structural engineer working in manufacturing, product development and sales, and consulting.

Currently, Dr. Larson serves as the Dean of Engineering for California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.  Prior to this she was the associate vice provost at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff where she lead and managed the business systems, student and curricula processes, and policies of academic affairs.   Prior to this she was the associate dean for the College of Engineering, Forestry and Natural Sciences at Northern Arizona.   In this position, she was responsible for the academic, student and research affairs of; ten academic units, and eight research institutes and centers. This associate dean position followed an earlier, four-year appointment as chair for the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Northern Arizona.

Dr. Larson holds the academic rank of professor and is a licensed professional engineer in the states of Oregon and Arizona.  She is well-known for her activities in engineering education and serves as an ABET EAC evaluator. 

Dr. Larson is married to Gale Wilberger.  She has two children – Holland Wilberger, a recent graduate in Engineering Management from the University of Arizona and Shay Wilberger, a freshman in Mechanical Engineering, also at the University of Arizona – and two stepchildren – Bert Wilberger of Portland, Oregon and Lindsay Nightingale of Bend, Oregon.

From 2011 Induction to the Civil and Environmental Engineering Academy