Emily Roebling (1803-1903) stepped in as the first woman field engineer and technical leader of the Brooklyn Bridge when her husband, Washington Roebling, became paralyzed and could no longer work without the help of his wife. Emily became responsible for much of the chief engineer’s duties, including day-to-day supervision and project management. The Brooklyn Bridge was completed in 1883 and holds a plaque honoring Emily and her husband.
Hedy Lamarr (1913-2000) might be recalled as a sexy movie star of the 1930s and 1940s, however, few know that she invented a remote-controlled communications system for the U.S military during World War II. Lamarr’s frequency hopping theory now serves as a basis for modern communication technology, such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi network connections.
Combining two seemingly distinct interests — engineering and theater — SWE member Rachel Hutter, P.E., has built an intriguing career with Disney. Ms. Hutter graduated from Michigan State University with a B.S. in electrical engineering and a minor in theater. She joined Disney in 1997 as part of the Imagineering® team that built Animal Kingdom®, fulfilling her childhood dream to work for Disney. In 2005, she received SWE’s Emerging Leader Award for Quality and in 2006, she was named Engineer of the Year among all the central Florida engineering societies.
A mechanical engineer and engineering professor, Yvonne Y. Clark, P.E., F.SWE, was SWE’s first African-American member, joining the Society in its early years. She graduated from Howard University in 1951 with a B.S. in mechanical engineering, the first woman to do so. In 1972, she became the first woman to earn a master’s in engineering management from Vanderbilt University. She began her career in industry, later joining the faculty at Tennessee State University and receiving SWE’s Distinguished Engineering Educator Award in 1998.