Alumni Association - University of Memphis
Memphis Matters July 2012




Alumni Spotlight: Laura Rowland (BSCE '84, MSCE '88)

Laura Rowland, PE, graduated from the Herff College of Engineering at the U of M in 1984 and finished her Master's Degree in Civil Engineering in 1988. In 1989, Laura accepted a position in the Levee and Drainage Section at the USACE Memphis office, and she notes, "I've been here ever since - varying jobs and capacities. I've enjoyed my time with USACE and have been given many opportunities."

Laura’s career has been filled with many firsts - she was the first female (non-administrative) on the flood fight roster and is now the Deputy Commander of the Cairo Area.

 Laura Rowland

July 2012

Her career has been filled with interesting projects and challenges, including helping to re-build levees after floods, working in the hurricane disaster response arena (Igor, Katrina, etc.) and working in two combat zones (Iraq in 2004 and Afghanistan in 2011). When asked about her favorite part of her job, she replies, “Disaster response is my favorite job.You can look at the folks you’re helping, and know that you’ve made a positive difference. I’ve spent the last 26+ years building relationships with my customers.”

Laura's efforts to help her customers have been recognized in multiple ways, including two Commander's Awards for Civilian Service and three Achievement Medals for Civilian Service. She also received a NATO Award for her work in Afghanistan, the Global War on Terror Medal
, and was given the Distinguished Service in Engineering Award from the Herff College of Engineering in April.

She is a member of Tau Beta Pi, lifetime member of the Society of American Military Engineers, and a member of the Engineers’ Club of Memphis and the Order of the Engineer.

When asked what she has learned that has helped her most in her career, Laura replies, “One of the most important things I learned at the U of M, and throughout life, is the value of communication." She also recommends new civil engineering graduates learn to be flexible and to recognize the importance of giving back to one’s community.Laura is an excellent role model in this regard.She has donated nearly 10 gallons of blood through Life Blood, volunteers at the Orpheum, the Memphis Zoo, at the WONDERS Series, and is a proud supporter of the University of Memphis, the Herff College of Engineering and the Alumni Association.

Click here to learn more about Rowland's work at the U of M.


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