Women and Ideas in Engineering

Twelve Stories from Illinois
Author: Laura D. Hahn and Angela S. Wolters
Celebrating challenges overcome, promising a brighter future
Cloth – $24.95
eBook – $14.95
Publication Date
Cloth: 08/13/2018
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About the Book

The increasing presence of women within engineering programs is one of today's most dramatic developments in higher education. Long before, however, a group of talented and determined women carved out new paths in the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois.

Laura D. Hahn and Angela S. Wolters bring to light the compelling hidden stories of these pioneering figures. When Mary Louisa Page became the College's first female graduate in 1879, she also was the first American woman ever awarded a degree in architecture. Bobbie Johnson's insistence on "a real engineering job" put her on a path to the Apollo and Skylab programs. Grace Wilson, one of the College's first female faculty members, taught and mentored a generation of women. Their stories and many others illuminate the forgotten history of women in engineering. At the same time, the authors offer insights into the experiences of today’s women from the College--a glimpse of a brighter future, one where more women in STEM fields apply their tireless dedication to the innovations that shape a better tomorrow.

About the Author

Laura D. Hahn is the director of the Academy for Excellence in Engineering Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Angela S. Wolters is the director of Women in Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


"Women and Ideas in Engineering is a signpost pointing us in the direction of a more enlightened and informed future, one where equal representation in STEM fields is more than just a given, it is a boon to all." --BTN LiveBIG Book Club


"A significant contribution to the field. While this book includes some well-known women, many of those described are not widely recognized and the book does a good job of demonstrating the variety of roles that women engineers at Illinois have played."--Margaret E. Layne, editor of Women in Engineering: Pioneers and Trailblazers

"Mixes stories by/about women in STEM that go beyond the 'great names' whose biographies have multiplied. It is also good to have accounts of women from different decades, from different fields. The first chapter, detailing the history of women in engineering at Illinois, is particularly significant and adds to our knowledge about the early entry of women into these fields."--Amy Sue Bix, author of Girls Coming to Tech! A History of American Engineering Education for Women