The University of St. Thomas

School of Engineering

Dr. Deb Besser

Dr. Deb Besser

Deborah M. Besser
Photo of Dr. Deb Besser

Adjunct Professor, 3M Thwaits Fellow
Phone: 651-962-5762

Mail OSS 100
2115 Summit Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55105

Office Location: OSS 114

Faculty Website


  • Ph.D. Education - University of Minnesota
  • M.S. Civil Engineering - Iowa State University
  • B.S. Civil Engineering - Iowa State University


  • EGED 531/ENGR 130 Fundamentals of Engineering
  • TEGR 528/EDUC 327 Engineering in the P-12 Classroom
  • EGED 530 Engineering Design
  • EGED 515 Statics, Materials, Structures


Dr. Deborah Besser, is a licensed engineer with a breadth of teaching and engineering experience. Currently, she teaches engineering education and provides development expertise in this emerging educational sphere.  Previous professional experience includes instruction in structural systems (steel, timber, concrete, masonry), statics,  strength of materials, engineering economy, construction materials, construction management and graphic design. Dr. Besser, who holds a PhD in education, entered the K-12 education realm as Program Director with the UK College of Engineering where her responsibilities included design and implementation of pioneering K-12 engineering education programs. Prior to teaching, Dr. Besser was a design engineer with HNTB-CA, where she worked on seismic retrofits and new design of high profile transportation structures. The unifying theme of her vocational mission is that she is committed to building bridges.

Research Interests

Research interests are engineering education oriented and include best practices in engineering education, K-12 engineering education foundational knowledge, inclusiveness, and learning systems with a focus on team based learning.


  • University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN
    School of Engineering, Engineering Education
    3M Thwaits Fellow (2012 - present)
    Adjunct (2011 - present)
  • University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK
    College of Design
    Lecturer (2009 - 2010)
  • Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY
    College of Business and Technology
    Assistant Professor (2008-2009)
  • University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
    College of Engineering
    Program Director, Engagement  (2006 - 2008)
  • University of Wisconsin-Stout, Menomonie, WI
    College of Technology, Engineering and Management
    Assistant Professor (1996-2003)
  • HNTB Corporation, Irvine, CA
    Design Engineer (1991 - 1995)