EWeek – As we continue to celebrate Engineers Week, lets not forget that some significant advances were made by women engineers. Just a few of these are:
- Hypatia of Alexandria (350 or 370–415 AD), credited with the invention of the hydrometer
- Martha Coston (1826-1904), engineered a signal system so ships could light up their locations on both land and sea
- Ada Lovelace (1815-1852), chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine. She was the first to recognise that the machine had applications beyond pure calculation, and created the first algorithm intended to be carried out by such a machine. As a result, she is often regarded as the first to recognise the full potential of a “computing machine” and the first computer programmer.
- Lilian Gilbret (1878-1972, contributed to industrial engineering by studying workplace patterns and scenarios
- Marilyn Jorgensen Reece (1926-2004), first female to earn full licensing as a civil engineer in the state of California in 1954. She also was entrusted with the design of the San Diego-Santa Monica freeway interchange in Los Angeles
- Beatrice Hicks (1919-1979), helped develop new technologies for aerospace communications, as well as telephones among her many achievements.
- Edith Clarke (1883-1959), first woman to earn a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She accomplished yet another first by becoming the first female teacher in the engineering department at the University of Texas, Austin (one of my alma maters).
- Kathleen McNulty (1921–2006), selected to be one of the original programmers of the ENIAC
- Kate Gleason (1865-1933), Her engineering background and design innovations, combined with her business and sales skills, took her from coast to coast and overseas and her housing ideas spread
- Elsie Eaves (1898-1983), Eaves was voted in as the first female member — and later, as a life member — of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
- Mary Walton, she came to excel at environmental engineering without specific training, and well before there was a specialized field of environmental engineering
- Ellen Henrietta Swallow Richards (1842-1911), The first woman to graduate from MIT in the history of the institution. She served in public health, sanitary engineering, mining engineering and chemistry, but Richards is best known as the founder of home economics.
- Grace Hopper 1906-1992), a United States Navy Rear Admiral who was one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer and invented the first compiler for a computer programming language.She popularized the idea of machine-independent programming languages, which led to the development of COBOL