Saturday 23rd June 2018 marked International Women in Engineering Day, and it got me thinking about some of the female engineers that I admire. Some of them are more well-known than others, but each of them is an inspiration and an example of exactly why we need female voices represented in the engineering and construction industry.
That’s why I wanted to take the time to acknowledge some of the most forward-thinking female engineers. Here are just a few of the women who’ve helped to shape the construction industry.
Emily Roebling: 1803-1903
I was lucky enough to live in New York in the summer of 2007, and one of my first memories was getting a taxi over the Brooklyn Bridge. Most people don’t know that Emily Roebling stepped in as a field engineer and technical leader of the bridge’s construction project after her husband became paralysed and could no longer work. Considering this amazing structure was completed in 1883, when she was 80 years old, it was some feat.
Mary Anderson: 1866-1953
Being from Ireland, we have a lot to thank Mary Anderson for. Although she’s technically not from an automation engineering background, on a trip to New York she noticed a driver leaning out of his car to clean his windscreen. And she had an idea.
Now used on all modern motor vehicles, the windscreen wiper comes from the simple idea of using a rubber blade attached to a spring-loaded arm which would sweep across the windscreen to clear rain, snow and dust. Amazingly, when she tried to sell the rights, she was told by one company that it did not hold much commercial value and would distract drivers. As a person who grew up and started driving in Ireland: Mary Anderson, we salute you in the Emerald Isle.
We here at LSY Engineering Consultants Ltd would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very happy International Women in Engineering Day and to encourage you to take a moment to think about how we can further empower women in the engineering industry and beyond.
These are just a few of the historic engineers who’ve inspired me personally, but there are millions of female engineers around the world who’ve helped to shape the industry into what it is today. This applies whether we’re talking about the female engineers in munitions factories during the first and second world wars or whether we’re talking about the groundbreaking female engineers of today who are helping to drive the engineering industry into the 21st century.