Associate Professor of Sustainability
- Ph.D. Civil Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin
- M.S. Environmental and Water Resources Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin
- B.S. Civil and Environmental Engineering, Rutgers University
- A.B. Dramatic Literature, Harvard University
- Interdisciplinary thinking and approaches to sustainability challenges
- Decision making in complex systems
- Transformation of educational systems to be more sustainable, equitable, and just
- Strategic visioning
- Workshop development
Dr. Alison Wood is an Associate Professor of Sustainability at Olin College of Engineering. Her scholarly interests include interdisciplinary thinking and approaches to sustainability challenges, decision making in complex systems, and the transformation of educational systems to be more sustainable, equitable, and just.
In her current project, Constructive Dissent for Educational Change, Dr. Wood uses approaches inspired by theater and literature to help professionals in academia to envision more just, equitable, and beautiful futures and identify steps to enact them. This work builds on her creative and organizational leadership of the Dissent track of Olin’s Remaking Education workshop in 2018 and her broader experience designing and leading interdisciplinary workshops and learning experiences, as well as her contributions to Olin’s strategic planning process in 2022.
Dr. Wood is also an active member of the Engineering Change Lab USA, serving on the programming committee and the working group for Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation. At Olin, she serves as the Director of Olin’s Grand Challenges Scholars Program and led the creation of the Sustainability concentration within the Engineering major.
After graduating from Harvard University with a B.A. in Dramatic Literature, Dr. Wood worked professionally in theater and wrote and recorded two musical albums. She then returned to school to study engineering, earning a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Rutgers University. Dr. Wood then went on to earn a Master of Science in Engineering in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin, while working with the Austin chapter of Engineers Without Borders.
Her love of learning was first fostered by a unique elementary school education that was deeply interdisciplinary and steeped in arts of all forms, which has informed all her subsequent thinking about the potential for education to transcend conventional models.