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Famous Female Engineers

Updated June 14, 2019 13.1k views110 items

List of famous female engineers, listed by their level of prominence with photos when available. This greatest female engineers list contains the most prominent and top females known for being engineers. There are thousand of females working as engineers in the world, but this list highlights only the most notable ones. Historic engineers have worked hard to become the best that they can be, so if you're a female aspiring to be a engineer then the people below should give you inspiration.

The list you're viewing is made up of a variety of different people, including Galina Petrovna Chadova and Theresa Sparks.

While this isn't a list of all female engineers, it does answer the questions "Who are the most famous female engineers?" and "Who are the best female engineers?"
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  • Ellen Ochoa
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    Ellen O. Ochoa (born May 10, 1958) is an American engineer, former astronaut and former Director of the Johnson Space Center. Ochoa became director of the center upon the retirement of the previous director, Michael Coats, on December 31, 2012. In 1993 Ochoa became the first Hispanic woman to go to space when she served on a nine-day mission aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery.... more on Wikipedia
    • Age: 62
    • Birthplace: Los Angeles, California
  • 6

    Judith Resnik

    Judith Resnik
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    Judith Arlene Resnik (; April 5, 1949 – January 28, 1986) was an American electrical engineer, software engineer, biomedical engineer, pilot and NASA astronaut who died when the Space Shuttle Challenger was destroyed during the launch of mission STS-51-L. Resnik was the second American woman in space and the fourth woman in space worldwide, logging 145 hours in orbit. She was also the first Jewish American in space and the first Jewish woman of any nationality in space. The IEEE Judith Resnik Award for space engineering is named in her honor. Initially planning to be a concert pianist, Resnik turned down a place at the Juilliard School of Music, choosing instead to study at Carnegie Mellon... more on Wikipedia
    • Age: Dec. at 37 (1949-1986)
    • Birthplace: Akron, Ohio
  • Kalpana Chawla
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    Kalpana Chawla (March 17, 1962 – February 1, 2003) was an American astronaut, engineer, and the first woman of Indian descent to go to space. She first flew on Space Shuttle Columbia in 1997 as a mission specialist and primary robotic arm operator. In 2003, Chawla was one of the seven crew members who died in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster when the spacecraft disintegrated during its re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere. Chawla was posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, and several streets, universities and institutions have been named in her honor. The late astronaut is recognized as a national hero in India.... more on Wikipedia
    • Age: Dec. at 41 (1962-2003)
    • Birthplace: Karnal, India
  • Lisa Nowak
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    Lisa Marie Nowak (née Caputo, born May 10, 1963) is an American former naval flight officer and NASA astronaut. Born in Washington, D.C., she was selected by NASA in 1996 and qualified as a mission specialist in robotics. Nowak flew aboard Space Shuttle Discovery during the STS-121 mission in July 2006, where she was responsible for operating the robotic arms of the shuttle and the International Space Station. On February 5, 2007, she was arrested in Orlando, Florida, and subsequently charged with the attempted kidnapping of U.S. Air Force Captain Colleen Shipman, who was romantically involved with astronaut William Oefelein. Nowak was released on bail, and initially pleaded not guilty to... more on Wikipedia
    • Age: 57
    • Birthplace: Washington, D.C.

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