Fifteen Eighty Four

Academic perspectives from Cambridge University Press


Women in Engineering: A Quiz

Nora Stanton Blatch Barney1. She was the first American woman to become a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, but she was also the granddaughter of which famous suffragist? [BW  photo, left]

2. Kate Gleason (1865-1933) was the first to join the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and is strongly associated with which technological innovation?

3. While women were not admitted to Tau Beta Pi (the engineering honor society) until 1969, who was the first woman to receive its “Women’s Badge” in 1924?

4. Elizabeth Bragg Cumming (1859-1929) was the first woman to earn a degree in civil engineering from which university?

Brooklyn Bridge Schematic5. The first woman to be elected to the National Academy of Engineers, Lillian Gilbreth worked as an industrial engineer for General Electric. Name one of her famous kitchen inventions.

6. Grace Hopper (1902-1992) developed which common language for computers?

7. John August Roebling (1806-1869) and Washington Augustus Roebling (1806-1869) are credited with building the Brooklyn Bridge, but this woman is widely credited as its chief engineer. [photo, right]

8. This woman invented the zig-zag stitch of sewing machines.


1. Nora Stanton Blatch Barney’s (1883-1971) grandmother was Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

2. The Gleason bevel-gear planer, which cut beveled gears that were high in demand by the automobile industry

3. Katherine Cleveland, who was the top engineering student of her class at the University of Kentucky

4. University of California, Berkeley

5. Gilbreth patented many appliances for the kitchen, including an electric food mixer, shelves inside refrigerator doors, and trash cans with a foot-pedal lid-opener.

6. Common Business-Oriented Language (COBOL)

7. Emily Warren Roebling (1843-1903)

8. Helen Augusta Blanchard (1840-1922)

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