Historical Engineers

Great Women in Engineering History

Long before women engineers were considered something special, some amazing women were doing great things to pave the way. Although their contributions are sometimes unrecognized, women with a little ingenuity have always had the power to do great things.
Take a look at a few of these profiles of historical women to see how they made a difference in their world.

Also learn more in this fun video produced for EngineerGirl by George Retelas with his digital art students at SAE Institute.

  • Mary Walton
    Title
    Inventor and Pioneer in the fight against pollution
    Organization
    Independent Inventor
  • Nora Stanton
    Title
    Famous American civil engineer and architect
    Organization
    American Society of Civil Engineers
  • Emily Warren Roebling
    Title
    Female Chief Engineer of building the Brooklyn Bridge
    Organization
    New York University
  • Ellen Henrietta Swallow Richards
    Title
    Founder of home economics and First woman admitted to MIT
    Organization
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • M. Gertrude Rand
    Title
    First woman member of Illuminating Engineering Society of North America
    Organization
    Knapp Foundation of the College of Physicians and Surgeons
  • Grace Murray Hopper
    Title
    First computer programmer of Harvard Mark I computer
    Organization
    United States Navy
  • Kate Gleason
    Title
    First woman president of National Bank and first woman member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers
    Organization
    National Bank, American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • Lillian Gilbreth
    Title
    Mother of Modern Management
    Organization
    American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • Irmgard Flugge-Lotz
    Title
    Internationally acclaimed contributor to aerodynamics and automatic theory control
    Organization
    Stanford University
  • Elsie Eaves
    Title
    First female member of American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
    Organization
    American Association of Cost Engineers, International Executive Service Corps
  • Olive Dennis
    Title
    The engineer who changed the nature of railway travel.
    Organization
    B & O Railroad
  • Edith Clarke
    Title
    First woman to earn an Electrical Engineering degree from MIT.
    Organization
    General Electric/University of Texas, Austin
  • Martha J. Coston
    Title
    Developed signal flares that are still used by the U.S. Navy today.
    Organization
    Coston Supply Company
  • Helen Augusta Blanchard
    Title
    One of the greatest inventors of the industrial era.
    Organization
    Blanchard Overseaming Company