University News

WIU Professor and Alum Reflects on her Career Journey

April 19, 2022

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL – Western Illinois University Professor and Leatherneck alumna Sanjeeta Neupane Ghimire recalled many exciting experiences in her journey through the civil engineering profession.

Ghimire's civil engineering career has recently taken an academic path, as she found her element in higher education after dreaming about becoming an educator for years.

While Ghimire spent a short time in the industry as a civil engineer, she found these jobs to be more structured, involving physical work hours, as well as on-site duties. Professionally, Ghimire had a lot of confidence and acknowledgement to complete the jobs, in addition to any other opportunities for professional growth within the industry.

Ghimire joined WIU in 2015 as a graduate student. The unique educational opportunity she has experienced at WIU has had a profound impact on her academic career and personal life.

"The relationships I built at Western are irreplaceable in our lives as we spend a unique time together, grow together and share the bond together," said Ghimire. "The distinctive educational opportunity I experienced at Western has a big influence on my academic career and my personal life."

Ghimire found her way back to WIU after completing her doctorate degree in civil engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and joining the School of Engineering and Technology as a faculty member at her alma mater. She plans to grow in this field of academia with her research, education, time and dedication at WIU. WIU has become a home for Ghimire as she started her academic career previously as a student and now as a faculty member.

"WIU has allowed me to grow beyond the limits and share a strong connection," said Ghimire.

As a woman in the engineering field, Ghimire raises a concern on the low representation of female students in male dominated classrooms.

"Women are often under-represented in the academic and professional fields of science and engineering. It was not any different when I chose my career in engineering during my undergraduate studies in Nepal. Civil engineering is still considered to be the degree suitable for male students, probably because of the physical works involved in the construction industry," said Ghimire.

The recent career shift has been a rewarding experience for Ghimire both personally and professionally.

"The profession and the position I am in today is a dream for many young men and women. I was the same dreamer a few years ago," said Ghimire. "I believe we all can accomplish our dreams if we wish to achieve, work hard and have the willingness to learn with passion.

"I am grateful to the dedicated faculty members, excellent academic programs and great teaching and learning environment at Western," added Ghimire. "I thank all my professors and colleagues for the opportunity to represent this program and this university."

For more information on WIU's Engineering program, visit

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