CCEE Hall of Fame

Sandra Larson

Distinguished achievement and innovative contributions to transportation research, policy and the profession, while heavily engaged in leadership in numerous national organizations

Inducted 2021

Sandra Larson graduated from Iowa State University (Iowa State) with a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering in 1988 following her earlier bachelor’s degree in biology in 1975. Larson began her Civil Engineering career in bridge design with the Iowa Department of Transportation (Iowa DOT).  She held several bureau leadership positions throughout her 29-year career in the Highway Division in numerous areas, including:  Systems Operations, Research and Technology, Engineering, and also served as State Bridge Engineer.

Larson also stayed involved with Iowa State following graduation, serving on the Civil and Environmental Engineering External Advisory Council for 20 years. Larson supported and expanded the cooperative research relationship between Iowa State and the Iowa DOT. She helped to expand the Iowa DOT’s co-op and intern program, opening the door for more Iowa State students to get real-life experience facilitating post-grad employment.

Larson has chaired and served on over 25 diverse national transportation research committees, panels, and task forces and was named a 2011 National Associate of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. She has spent her entire professional engineering career working with others to find ways to make transportation safer and better. As Larson is known to say, “the best thing about civil engineering is that it provides us the opportunity to make a true difference in the world”.