The National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) has partnered with the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) to honor four women who are innovators, experimenters, trailblazers and pioneers in engineering and technology at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) headquarters.
The 14-panel exhibit, displayed during March, will feature information on historical inventors Mária Telkes and Edith Clarke, but also feature living inventors’ stories from Barbara Liskov and Jacqueline Quinn.
2012 National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductee
Mária Telkes led an all-female team to design and build the Dover Sun House in 1948 – a home exclusively heated by solar energy. Telkes’ lifetime of experimentation and research developing solar solutions for stoves, heaters and materials for the space program earned her the nickname “Sun Queen.” Telkes received the 1952 Society of Women Engineers Achievement Award.
2015 National Inventors Hall of Fame
Edith Clarke was among the first female electrical engineers to be professionally employed in her field during a time of historic education inequality for women. Her invention, the Graphical Calculator, became a vital contribution to electrical engineers by simplifying equations used to understand transmission lines. Clarke received the 1954 Society of Women Engineers Achievement Award.
2018 National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductee
To address rocket fuel pollution at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Jacqueline Quinn and her team developed Emulsified Zero-Valent Iron (EZVI) – an environmentally safe, cost-effective way to treat
groundwater contaminants. Because of its effectiveness, EZVI is one of NASA’s most-licensed technologies. Quinn received the 2004 Technical Achievement Award from the Society of Women Engineers Space Coast Section.
2012 National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductee
By focusing on data rather than process, Barbara Liskov showed how software could be made easier to construct and modify. Her invention is the basis of most modern programming languages. It has greatly impacted software used on personal computers, the internet and applications, making them easier to operate and maintain. Liskov received the 1996 Society of Women Engineers Achievement Award.
Their stories are unique, but collectively, they’ve influenced each of their industries significantly and inspire the next generation of women scientists, engineers and chemists.
Each of these inventors has been Inducted into the Hall of Fame, but also awarded with SWE awards — given to champions of women in STEM.
“These women have made tremendous contributions to society and the engineering community, and remain important role models to our future STEM leaders,” said Karen Horting, executive director and CEO at SWE. “To be able to showcase brilliant women such as Dr. Quinn, Dr. Telkes, Clarke and Dr. Liskov, we are making strides in establishing a positive perception of engineering for young women.”
“We hope these innovation icons will serve as an inspiration to the next generation of students. Our research has shown that exposure to role models positively correlates to a student’s success as an innovator,” NIHF CEO Michael J. Oister said.
The National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum — located at the USPTO’s Madison Building in Alexandria, Virginia — is free and open to the public Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Click here for more information.
About the Society Of Women Engineers
The Society of Women Engineers (SWE), founded in 1950, is the world’s largest advocate and catalyst for change for women in engineering and technology. The not-for-profit educational and service organization is the driving force that establishes engineering as a highly desirable career aspiration for women. To ensure SWE members reach their full potential as engineers and leaders, the Society offers unique opportunities to network, provides professional development, shapes public policy and provides recognition for the life-changing contributions and achievements of women engineers. As a champion of diversity, SWE empowers women to succeed and advance in their personal and professional lives. For more information about the Society, please visit swe.org or call 312.596.5223.
About the National Inventors Hall Of Fame
The National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) is the premier nonprofit organization in America dedicated to recognizing inventors and invention, promoting creativity, and advancing the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship. Founded in 1973 in partnership with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, NIHF is committed to not only honoring the individuals whose inventions have made the world a better place, but to ensuring American ingenuity continues to thrive in the hands of coming generations through its national, hands-on educational programming and collegiate competitions focused on the exploration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum is a Smithsonian Affiliate. For more information, visit invent.org. To nominate an inventor for Induction, visit invent.org/nominate.