News & Features

Raissa Ferron - NASEM New Voices in Science, Engineering and Medicine

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May 15, 2018

Associate Professor Raissa Ferron was recently selected by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to serve on New Voices in Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (SEM), a pilot initiative that will engage a broad and diverse network of emerging leaders working in SEM fields across the U.S.

The New Voices initiative seeks to identify outstanding early-career SEM leaders from across the country to engage in articulating and communicating the evidence base for addressing national and global challenges, to provide new perspectives on issues of importance to the community represented by The National Academies, and to help identify approaches to substantially expand the diversity of expertise that is brought to all of the Academies' convening and advisory activities.

Ferron is an active supporter of outreach activities geared towards encouraging K-12 students to go to college, promoting engineering as a career choice, and increasing the representation of historically marginalized groups in engineering and academia. She recently served as Co-Chair of the Cockrell School of Engineering's Underrepresented Minority Students Action Committee. In this role, Ferron lead the task force that developed engineering school's first Diversity Action Plan.

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Raissa Ferron has developed new, innovative courses at UT Austin and teaches students general principles governing sustainability.

She also participated in UT’s Longhorn Summer Experience, a partnered event between the university’s Admissions Office and the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement that reaches out to promising African-American high school students and their parents across Texas.

In addition, Ferron is faculty advisor for Black Women in Science and Engineering (BWise), a student organization at UT Austin for women in the Cockrell School of Engineering as well as the College of Natural Sciences.

On the faculty since 2009, she teaches a variety of courses focused on infrastructure materials. Ferron’s research is dedicated to studying the properties and behavior of infrastructure materials, with a special emphasis the rheology and fresh state processing of cement-based materials. Her research ranges from developing smart cementitious fluids to engineering sustainable infrastructure materials.

Ferron is the first African-American woman to earn tenure in the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering.