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Celebrating Women in Architecture + Engineering

Celebrating Women in Architecture + Engineering

Abbey Elizondo

March 27, 2024


Women throughout history have invented incredible devices and pushed many industries forward with their intellectual ideas. We want to recognize how important those women are to the architecture and engineering fields because, without them, our lives would look vastly different.



Imagine you live in New York City and need to get across the river into Manhattan for work. Without Emily Roebling, who helped with the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge in 1883, you would have no bridge to cross to work every day.


Imagine all the women studying STEM fields in universities around the world. They have Nora Santon to thank for becoming one of the first women to graduate with a civil engineering degree.


Imagine you’re interested in becoming a software engineer, a career choice made possible by Margaret Hamilton coining the term to help her understand her work with on-flight systems for the Apollo 11 NASA mission.


There are countless examples of women who have changed how we live our daily lives through their innovation and determination to succeed in industries that lacked representation of women in various roles.


  • Emily Roebling oversaw the construction and completion of the Brooklyn Bridge in 1883 after her husband, the project’s chief engineer, became ill.
  • In 1905, Nora Santon became the first woman to graduate from Cornell with a civil engineering degree. She then went on to become the first female member of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
  • Edith Clarke developed the Clarke Calculator in 1921, which was used to help solve electric power transmission problems.
  • Maria Telkes, nicknamed the “Sun Queen,” devised the system for the Dover Sun House, the first solar-heated house, in 1948.
  • Margaret Hamilton coined the term “software engineering” to distinguish the type of engineering used after working on the onboard flight systems for the Apollo 11 in 1969.


This is not an exhaustive list of women who have positively impacted the architecture and engineering industries. We encourage you to explore these additional resources to further understand the impacts of women’s innovation and progress throughout the celebration of Women’s History Month!