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Lois Bey was the first woman graduate in chemical engineering from the Illinois Institute of Chicago, where she graduated in 1950. She worked for a succession of companies, including Ewald Laboratories and the Armour Research Institute (now IIT Research Institute), with responsibilities ranging from lab technician to assistant engineer. From 1956 through 1960, Bey was employed as a sales engineer for F.M. De Beers Associates, where she sold and maintained equipment. In 1960 she hired into Baxter Laboratories, after which she earned a master's degree in library and information science. She successfully combined her degrees toward a career as an information specialist in chemical company research and development departments at Baxter and later at Stepan Chemical Company. Bey retired in 1993. She joined the Society of Women Engineers in 1953 and was also an active member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the American Society of Information Science.
In her 2003 Profiles of SWE Pioneers Oral History Project interview, Bey discussed her childhood; her experiences in college; her professional experiences as a chemical engineer, technical writer, and sales representative; gender discrimination; workplace accidents; and her involvement in SWE and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.
View video clips from Lois Bey's oral history interview.