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Eleanor Baum is an electrical engineer who received her Ph.D. from Polytechnic Institute of New York in 1964 after undergraduate studies at City College of New York. She began her career in the aerospace industry working for Sperry Rand Corporation and General Instrument Corporation. Baum joined the engineering faculty at Pratt Institute in 1965 and became the Dean of Pratt Institute's School of Engineering in 1984, the first woman in the United States to hold such a position. She was later named Dean of Engineering at The Cooper Union and Executive Director of the Cooper Union Research Foundation. Baum has played leadership roles in numerous professional associations, including serving at the first female president of the American Society for Engineering Education and as president of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. She was awarded the SWE Upward Mobility Award in 1990 and was inducted into the Women in Technology Hall of Fame in 1996.
In her 2003 Profiles of SWE Pioneers Oral History Project interview, Baum explained how she became interested in engineering; her experiences in high school and college; her career in industry and academia; her involvement in the women's movement and SWE; and her thoughts on diversity in engineering, public perception of engineers, and the role of technology in society.
View video clips from Eleanor Baum's oral history interview: