SMU Lyle environmental engineering alumna makes it her mission to ensure access to clean water

SMU Lyle alumnus headshot

SMU Lyle alumna Lizzie Wilson (’18) recently lead a project to study Tanzania’s water distribution plan and share critical engineering knowledge as part of her role with Engineers without Borders.

Lizzie is now president of Engineers Without Borders’ Austin chapter and a project engineer in the Central Texas Public Works department at a national civil engineering consulting firm. She brings expertise in storm water and wastewater management to her role, helping the city to continue operating no matter what Texas weather throws at them.

Lizzie double majored in French Language & Literature at SMU Dedman and Environmental Engineering at SMU Lyle. Her experience at Lyle steered her toward focusing on engineering as a profession, so she stayed and earned a master’s degree that would prepare her for one of society’s most important roles – engineering and regulating public water works to ensure access to clean water for all.

Access to water for all is Lizzie’s personal and professional passion.

“Every human being has the right to clean water and access to clean water,” she says. “That is the mission of Engineers without Borders, and it’s my personal mission every day.”

— Learn more about SMU Lyle's graduate programs. —

During her time at SMU Lyle, Lizzie held an internship at LCA Environmental in Farmers Branch, where she participated in the firm’s expert management of waste residuals, environmental impacts, and remediation. She also interned at CP&Y, a Dallas-based civil engineering firm with a nationwide footprint. Amid the academic rigor of environmental engineering at SMU, she continued to find time for cooking, playing sports, and even participating in quidditch competitions.

As a graduate student, she served as a research assistant with Dr. Andrew Quicksall in the Soil and Water Research Lab, and in 2018 she completed her master’s thesis by researching trace metals in the soil and water of the Bolivian Altiplano.

About the Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering

SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering, founded in 1925, is one of the oldest engineering schools in the Southwest. The school offers twelve undergraduate and 29 graduate programs, including master’s and doctoral degrees, in the departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Computer Science; Electrical and Computer Engineering; Mechanical Engineering and Operations Research and Engineering Management.

About SMU 

SMU is the nationally ranked global research university in the dynamic city of Dallas. SMU’s alumni, faculty and nearly 12,000 students in eight degree-granting schools demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit as they lead change in their professions, community and the world.