When we look to the history of innovation, women have often been at the forefront. Whether they're pioneering life-changing medical technology or finding new ways to improve the ease and productivity of domestic tasks, women have used their creativity, intelligence, and know-how to help shape the world we live in today.
On 23 June 2021, International Women in Engineering Day will be back in action. Our theme this year is Engineering Heroes, and it celebrates the hard work and smarts of women engineers around the globe -- those working to end the COVID-19 pandemic as well as those endeavoring to make our day-to-day lives easier and better.
To prepare for the celebration, let's meet five amazing female engineering heroes, past and present, who have changed our world for the better.
1. Evelyn Wang: A graduate of MIT, Ms. Wang serves as the chair of the university's Mechanical Engineering department. There, she collaborated in the invention of an award-winning technology which can draw water from cool night air in desert climates.
2. Dr. Patricia Bath: In addition to being the first female member of the Jules Stein Eye Institute and the first African-American woman to work as a surgeon at UCLA Medical Center, Dr. Bath was also the first woman to lead a postgrad ophthalmology program as well as an early pioneer of laser surgery techniques in removing cataracts.
3. Hedy Lamarr: In addition to success on stage and screen, Austrian-born Lamarr invented a technology which was used to jam Allied torpedoes during WWII; the same technology was foundational in the creation of wireless internet.
4. Alice Parker: As an African-American housewife living before the Women's Lib and Civil Rights movements, Mrs. Parker patented a gas-powered central heating system which inspired many of those used today.
5. Ada Lovelace: The daughter of poet Lord Byron, Ms. Lovelace is credited with the creation of the first algorithm and is remembered as one of the first computer programmers.
To learn even more about women in engineering, check out this infographic by We The Parents.