Still in the early stages of her aero- space engineering career, Erin Fisher has raised awareness of the industry’s need to provide a mission to young women and girls — one that can inspire them to study
math and science and become engineers. A flight control systems engineer at Boom Supersonic, in 2017 Fisher wrote a blog that first appeared on her company’s site, then took off across related sites, calling for the industry to rethink its approach to reaching the next generation of aerospace engineers, particularly young girls.
Fisher noted that from her desk at work, “I can gaze out the window and watch airplanes take off and land all day. Far too often, my male col- leagues and I drop what we’re doing and run to the window to see what airplane is in the sky. As we race to catch a glimpse of a rare Stearman or acrobatic F-18, the thought strikes me — I am the only woman in the world building a commercial supersonic airliner. How did I end up here? And more importantly, how can we get more women to stand at this window with me?”
When Fisher was 13, a pivotal week at Space Camp opened the path to aerospace engineering, with space exploration and the possibilities it sug- gested fueling dreams of an exciting career. Today, Fisher is inspired by the possibilities her work presents: bringing back commercial supersonic flight that will change both the industry and “how the world views travel and distance ... to connect people and places and cultures,” she writes. Fisher believes this type of excitement is what the indus- try and future female engineers need to experience in order to fill the engineering pipeline, create gender balance, and transform the field. An officer in SWE’s Rocky Mountain Section, Fisher graduated from the University of Notre Dame.
Who Are the Women Engineers We Should Know?
Quite often, those who are behind the scenes and out of the limelight make real change in the workplace and in our communities. It is our intention to recognize such women and make their efforts better known in our SWE Magazine series “Women Engineers You Should Know.”
Casting a wide net, SWE Magazine staff and editorial board members seek contemporary women whose lives have embodied the Society’s mission to: “Stimulate women to achieve full potential in careers as engineers and leaders, expand the image of the engineering profession as a positive force for improving the quality of life, and demonstrate the value of diversity.”
Through a variety of means, including fielding suggestions and conducting archival research, we will examine the stories of many women who have made a difference in these critical areas. Determining a final list is a daunting challenge, and our selections are in no way meant to be definitive. While some names you may recognize, many are not recognizable to most people. From a variety of perspectives, in different environments and moments in time, these women represent “ordinary” when doing “extraordinary” things. In saluting them, we are saluting all the women, known and unknown, past and present, who have advanced our mission.
Nominate women engineers to know for our next article. The deadline for nominations is Friday, December 28, 2018. Submit nominations here.
With each submission, please include the following.
- Nominee info: name, why her, links supporting your nomination, areas of expertise, where is she located
- Nominator info: name, email, how you know the nominee
Thanks for your help, and look for the Spring 2019 issue of SWE Magazine.