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Laura Nedderman Carries on Her Family Legacy

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

When Laura Nedderman accepted her diploma at Commencement in May, it was an extension of her family’s legacy at UTA. 

Laura, who earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, is the granddaughter of longtime University president and engineering dean Wendell Nedderman. Her father, brother, two uncles, and a cousin have earned UTA degrees. 

Laura Nedderman and Wendell Nedderman“It’s incredible to walk into Nedderman Hall and think that someone in my family made such a lasting impact on the University and the community,” Laura said.

“Since I’ve been here I’ve learned a lot about my granddad’s legacy. He still talks about UTA all the time, and I meet professors who know him and they always say such amazing things about him. I never would’ve known that if I hadn’t gone here.”

Wendell Nedderman, a civil engineer, was UTA’s founding dean of engineering and president of the University from 1972-92, overseeing a period of great growth. Nedderman Hall, which houses the Office of the Dean of Engineering, as well as the Civil and Electrical Engineering Departments and several engineering labs and classrooms, is named for him, as is Nedderman Drive, which runs through campus.

Two of Nedderman’s three sons who graduated from UTA are civil engineers. Laura’s father was a business major, and her mother is also a civil engineer, although she earned her degree at the University of Kansas.

It’s incredible to walk into Nedderman Hall and think that someone in my family made such a lasting impact on the University and the community.

“I became interested in civil engineering because my mom worked for NASA and used to tell me stories about collecting soil samples and working outside. I didn’t know that practically my whole family are civil engineers until I chose it as a major,” Laura laughed. 

“It’s really cool that I’m carrying on this tradition, but it’s also a lot of pressure. Sometimes I think people think that I just have engineering in me, but I’ve worked really hard along the way.”

Laura will begin her civil engineering career at Dunaway Associates in Fort Worth soon after graduation. She has also been accepted into the M.B.A. cohort at UTA Fort Worth in the fall.

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