EEI > Delivering The Future
Celebrating Women's History Month
March 2020

Every March, EEI and our member companies celebrate Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day on March 8 by recognizing the women who have helped lead, shape, and advance the electric power industry through science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. 

Katherine Blodgett
Scientist
1989-1979

The first woman to work as a scientist for General Electric Laboratory in New York, she worked on monomolecular coatings designed to cover surfaces of water, metal, or glass, which led to her developing “invisible” glass, which is used in many common products today. She also contributed to perfecting tungsten filaments in electric lamps. During World War 2, she also developed smoke screens, which saved the lives of many troops. Blodgett was also the first woman to be awarded a Ph.D from the University of Cambridge in 1926. To learn more, click here​.
   
   
Beatrice Hicks
Engineer
1919-1979

Since age 13, Beatrice Hicks aspired to become an engineer like her father. She earned degrees in chemical engineering. electrical engineering, and physics, then became the first female engineer employed by the Western Electric Company. Among other achievements, she pioneered in the theoretical study, analysis, development and manufacture of sensing devices, patented a molecular density scanner, and developed an industry model for quality control procedures. In 1950, she was chosen as the first president of the newly organized Society of Women Engineers. To learn more, click here.
   
   
Katherine Johnson
Mathematician
1918-2020

A pioneer in mathematics and aeronautics, Katherine Johnson graduated from West Virginia University at the age of 18. In 1952, Johnson began working in aeronautics as a “computer” for the recently formed National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). While at NASA, Johnson performed calculations that would help send astronauts into orbit in the early 1960s and, eventually, to the moon in 1969. Johnson was honored by President Barack Obama in 2015 with the Presidential Medal of Freedom and became the focal point of the 2016 novel and feature film Hidden Figures. To learn more about Katherine Johnson, click here.
   
   




Maria Telkes
Chemist and biochemist
1900-1997

Maria is often referred to as the “Sun Queen” because of her innovative solar power research that led to several inventions, including a solar over, a solar heating system, and a solar still (desalination unit) small enough to place on life rafts and provide drinking water to those waiting for rescue at sea. She is best known for working with another female scientist to develop the first solar-powered heating system for a house. She began her career working for the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and began researching energy conversion when she moved on to work for Westinghouse Electric in 1937. Her solar energy developments took place while she was a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. To learn more, click​ here.
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