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Women in Science: Engineering, Technology, and Innovation

What is Engineering?

Invention, innovation, and discovery aren't new ideals for women, but in the past, credit has been stripped away from the rightful owner(s). However, throughout history, we can see examples of women who broke the glass ceiling and molded a new future for themselves and those following in their footsteps. 

Engineering, though technically an applied science, has many different subcategories, including: Acoustical engineering, Aerospace engineering, Agricultural engineering, Architectural engineering, Automotive engineering, Biomechanical engineering, Chemical engineering, Civil engineering, Computer engineering, Electrical engineering, Environmental engineering, Industrial engineering, Mechanical engineering, Nuclear engineering, Software engineering, and Structural engineering.

LHL Lectures: Dr. Adelheid Voskuhl

Dr. Adelheid Voskuhl, Associate Professor of the History of Science, Harvard University and 2012 Resident Fellow at the Linda Hall Library.

In the period around the First World War, engineers raised questions about the relationship between industrialism and the state, technocracy and democracy, and global technological and diplomatic rivalries—but also about their own social status and ethical obligations. Dr. Heidi Voskuhl, Associate Professor of History of Science at Harvard University, explores how engineers’ discussions at that time represented the earliest moments of engineers' active participation in political debates, and were a prototype of later debates about the abstract, and often hazy, idea of the “impact” of modern technology on society.

LHL Lectures: Dr. Geraldine Knats

Geraldine Knatz, Executive Director (retired), Port of Los Angeles

The current Panama Canal expansion project is a game-changer: the immense post-Panamax containerships will alter global trade routes. Are we ready for a new definition of “big?” Dr. Geraldine Knatz discusses the state of readiness of U.S. ports, the competitive issues between the east and west coasts, and what it means for Kansas City.


Engineer Girl: Launched in 2001, the website, a service of the National Academy of Engineering, was designed to bring attention to opportunities that engineering provides for women and girls.

Society of Women Engineers: Formed in 1950 at the Cooper Union's Green Engineering Camp, the SWE was created out of a desire to form a group that encouraged and supported women in the field of engineering. 

Women in Engineering ProActive Network: Established in 1990, WEPAN's goal has been to leverage research and practices to best propel equality and the inclusion of women in the engineering fields. 

Women in Engineering, IEEE: Founded in 1994, IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)'s WiE is one of the largest international professional organizations dedicated to inspiring and promoting women and girls in engineering careers. 

Women in Engineering: Founded in 2005, WomEng is a non-profit organization working to develop the next generation of female engineering leaders all over the world.