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Jessica R.

PhD, Civil Engineering

Not many people realize a civil engineer can help repair a 15th century statue, work with 3D printing, use finite element analysis, develop new approaches to repairing cracked concrete structures, and excite the next generation of STEM leaders with her own creations at a science festival.

But Jessica has done all that and more. After earning her BS and MS at WPI, she now manages a full plate of PhD coursework, lab experiments to run and track, and family commitments. Through her packed days, she knows she is working toward her ultimate goal—to teach engineering at the college level. While she’s juggling all her responsibilities, she also finds value in giving back. A longtime volunteer at TouchTomorrow (where she developed the Augmented Reality Sandbox) and the Frontiers summer program, she enjoys showing younger generations the excitement found in engineering activities.   

WPI’s project-based work is one of the university’s greatest strengths, says Jessica. But the approach also offers unexpected benefits. “The friendships I made while working on projects are my fondest memories of my time at WPI,” she says. “You can’t work with several people on a project for weeks on end without forming a strong bond.”

Portrait of student

Boston, MA

Faculty Mentor

Leonard Albano, Associate Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering


Dean's Fellowship 2016-17

  • TouchTomorrow: AR Sandbox and 3D Printing
  • Teaching structural engineering and a concrete mixing lab at Frontiers summer program
  • CEE Fall BBQ
  • Tango Practica
If you can see first-hand how WPI students excel in taking charge of their own education through project-based work, then you will see WPI’s greatest strength.
Larry Albano’s excellent teaching, and above all his capacity to listen, made me want to become a teacher myself.