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Experience success on your own termsWhen you join SWE you connect with a professional network of 27,000 enthusiastic, like-minded women engineers as well as professional development resources that members consistently rate as "excellent."

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SWE Pioneers

Profiles of SWE Pioneers: An Oral History Project

Documenting the lives of pioneering women engineers, these interviews capture individual experiences within various engineering disciplines across the United States. Each personal story is unique, yet collectively they illustrate the significant achievement made by women who began their engineering careers in the 1940s, '50s, and '60s. These oral histories offer a glimpse into the private and professional lives of women engineers as well as the founding and development of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE).

Interviews include several "women firsts" and provide first-hand accounts and personal perspectives on the development and culture of their fields, and their impact on the history of women and engineering. They address a range of questions related to women in non-traditional professions during the last 50-75 years.

Links to biographical sketches, full transcripts, and video clips from interviews with more than thirty pioneering women engineers are available below, arranged by name, engineering discipline, and interview topics. Please read our Terms of Use before viewing.

Copies of the full-length oral histories are available through the SWE Archives.

Engineering Pioneers

Betty Lou Bailey
Eleanor Baum
Lois Bey
Yvonne Brill
Patricia Brown

Yvonne Clark
Lois Cooper
Stella Lawrence Daniels
Bonnie J. Dunbar
Margaret Eller
Thelma Estrin
Ann Fletcher

Evelyn Fowler
Isabelle French
Ruth Gordon
Lois Graham
Arminta Harness

Ivy Hooks
F. Suzanne Jenniches
Barbara Crawford Johnson
Margaret Kipilo
Anna Kazanjian Longobardo
Alva Matthews
Naomi McAfee

Mary McCarthy
Dorothy Morris

Maryly Van Leer Peck

Irene Peden
Carolyn Phillips
Elaine Pitts
Elizabeth Plunkett
Betty Preece
Gloria Brooks Reinish
Irene Sharpe
Margaret Taber
Josephine Webb

 

Profiles by Engineering Discipline

Aeronautical & Aerospace
Engineers/Astronauts

Yvonne Brill
Bonnie J. Dunbar
Arminta Harness
Ivy Hooks
Barbara Crawford Johnson
Elizabeth Plunkett

Biomedical Engineers
Thelma Estrin
Gloria Brooks Reinish

Ceramic Engineers
Bonnie J. Dunbar

Chemical Engineers
Lois Bey
Yvonne Brill
Patricia Brown
Evelyn Fowler
Maryly Van Leer Peck

Electrical Engineers
Eleanor Baum
Stella Lawrence Daniels
Margaret Kipilo
Mary McCarthy
Dorothy Morris
Irene Peden
Betty Preece
Gloria Brooks Reinish
Irene Sharp
Margaret Taber
Josephine Webb

Engineering Educators
Eleanor Baum
Yvonne Clark
Stella Lawrence Daniels
Margaret Eller
Thelma Estrin
Lois Graham
Alva Matthews
Maryly Van Leer Peck
Irene Peden
Betty Preece
Gloria Brooks Reinish
Margaret Taber
Engineering Illustrators
Margaret Eller
Ann Fletcher

Environmental Engineers
F. Suzanne Jenniches
Carolyn Phillips
(Environmental/Industrial
Hygiene)

Mechanical Engineers
Betty Lou Bailey
Yvonne Clark
Bonnie J. Dunbar
(Mechanical/Biomedical)
Lois Graham
Anna Kazanjian Longobardo
Alva Matthews
(Mechanical/Structural/Civil)

Packaging Engineers
Elaine Pitts

Reliability Engineers
Naomi McAfee

Structural Engineers
Ruth Gordon

Technical Editors
Isabelle French

Transportation Engineers
Lois Cooper

 

SWE StoryCorp Project

SWE Oral History Interviews

The story of SWE is in large part the collective legacies of individual accomplishments and successes of women in engineering and technology. More than 70 of these distinguished women have shared their experiences regarding SWE, their education, careers, and work/life balance in SWE's oral history interviews. For more information about SWE's oral history interviews, contact the SWE archivist at 313.577.2863 or swearchives@wayne.edu.

WE08 Interviewees

 bierman Elizabeth Bierman and Allison Pedersen
SWE Leaders
 tietjen Jill Tietjen, Sandra Scanlon and Kristy Schloss
SWE Leaders and Entrepreneurs
 delvecchio Margo Bubb and Stacey DelVecchio
Co-workers and SWE Leaders
  Mary Anderson-Rowland and Troy Eller
University Professor and SWE Archivist
 weisman Renee Weisman, Marge Inden and Bernice Brody
SWE leaders 
 

Ledo and Anne Lucietto
Father and daughter whose interview was
featured on National Public Radio's Morning Edition in 2008.

WE07 Interviewees

 Lucietto Anne Lucietto and Diane Peters
SWE Leaders
 Osborn Fran Scholl and Aubree Osborn
Co-workers
 Grubbe James Porter and Deborah Grubbe
Spouses
 Hickel Maggie Hickel and Katie Peterson
Mother and Daughter
 Law Patricia and Christine Law
Mother and Daughter
 Layne Peggy Layne and Gail Mattson
SWE Past Presidents
Gaylard Phyllis Gaylard and Pamela Strong
SWE Fellows and Award Recipients
 Clark Yvonne Clark and Carol Lawson
Mother and Daughter

Terms of Use

These oral history interviews were recorded as part of StoryCorps, a nationwide initiative of Sound Portrait Productions to record and collect oral history interviews. Excperts were selected and produced by the SWE Archivist. Audio excerpts may be used for research and educational purposes only.

SWE Women

An Amazing Legacy of Inspiring Women

Women engineers are innovators and educators, participating in a profession that has shaped the development of American technology. They have made significant contributions to the world of engineering, impacted our daily lives, and inspired generations to achieve. The story of SWE is in large part the collective legacies of these women's individual accomplishments and successes. Here you'll find a number of wonderful stories, that will inspire you to create your own story of success.

 

Corporate Partnership Council

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