EDI­TO­RIAL

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - CONTENTS -

Hy­pa­tia a of Alexan­dri­aAl Ale is gen­er­ally thought to be the­heh wo wor world’s first fe­male en­gi­neer, or at least t the ef first recorded prac­ti­tioner, and that was as backba in 400AD. Since then there have b be been sev­eral more of note, such as AdaAd Lovela­ceL who col­lab­o­rated with Charles Bab­bage on his an­a­lyt­i­cal en­gine; Hertha Marks Ayr­ton (1854–1923); Kath­leen McNulty (1921–2006), Alice Perry ( grad­u­ated 1908;) Elisa Leonida Zam­firescu ( grad­u­ated 1912); and Ellen Swal­low Richards ( grad­u­ated MIT in 1873).

It will be as­tound­ing to many young women th­ese days that en­gi­neer­ing wasn’t even a ca­reer choice for girls in the not too dis­tant past and for no par­tic­u­lar rea­son ex­cept that was just the way it was. Of course, it was not only en­gi­neer­ing that wasn’t open to girls, and I my­self have a friend who was ex­pected to leave her bank­ing job when she mar­ried be­cause her new hus­band worked at an­other bank­ing group. There was no ques­tion that he should leave his job, but a re­quire­ment that she left hers.

Things change, thank­fully, and this month we wel­come a new colum­nist, Claire Parker, who has just be­gun her en­gi­neer­ing de­gree at the Univer­sity of Auck­land. Parker’s col­umn is not about be­ing a fe­male en­gi­neer – but, who knows, maybe there will be is­sues around that – but about be­ing an en­gi­neer­ing stu­dent to­day.

Jane War­wick

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