Today, 23 June, is a date to vindicate the role of all women who dedicate their efforts and knowledge to breaking down stereotypes and leaving an indelible mark on the world of engineering.
That is why today we want to recognise and value their immense talent, as well as continue to promote equal opportunities for future generations of women who dream of becoming engineers and contributing to making the world a better place.
As did these five pioneering women who overcame all obstacles to become part of energy history with their precise calculations, innovative designs, revolutionary projects and perseverance.
A prominent electrical engineer who left a deep mark on the energy world with her analysis and design of electrical power systems, as well as her contributions in the field of distribution networks and circuit theory.
She was the first woman to graduate in electrical engineering at MIT, where she entered in 1919, breaking all kinds of barriers in a space reserved only for men.
Her “Clarke Diagram” simplified the analysis of alternating current circuits, making it possible to better understand and solve complex problems. It greatly improved the design and operation of large-scale electric power systems.
It greatly improved the design and operation of large-scale electric power systems
Although she did not get her degree because of the restrictions on women at the time, Ayrton was one of the first female undergraduates at Cambridge. The absence of a diploma did not prevent her from building a legacy of technological progress beyond her death in 1923.
This electrical engineer played a key role in the improvement of lighting. At the time, electricity was just starting to be used to provide light, but there were continuous problems with stable operation: flickering, inefficiencies, variable intensity… Ayrton’s research led to an impressive breakthrough in the quality of electric light, eliminating flickering and hiss with a device known as the “Ayrton blower”.
Ayrton’s research led to an impressive breakthrough in the quality of electric light
But her contribution to improving the quality of life of millions of people did not stop there. She also conducted experiments that led to the further development of electric power in industrial applications, the improvement of distribution efficiency and the reduction of noise in electrical systems.
She was a pioneer in improving air quality in the industrial cities of the 19th century. At a time when pollution was rampant in cities and emissions from factories and boilers went unchecked, Walton focused on the health problems this caused.
Although she had no specific training or degree, Walton was a fully-fledged engineer. She invented the smoke collector, which reduced emissions from factory chimneys by capturing harmful gases before they were released into the atmosphere. This contribution, which was widely adopted in industry, had a positive and lasting impact on the environment and health of industrial cities.
Not only did she lay the foundations for regulations, but she was also a key figure in raising awareness of environmental health and environmental protection
A visionary who not only laid the foundations for emission control regulations and technologies, but was also a pivotal figure in raising awareness of environmental health and environmental protection.
Born in 1960, this American astronaut has been noted for her work in space exploration and the study of sustainable energy systems. Her participation in various space missions has meant that much of her research on the implementation and development of solar energy technologies has had a significant impact on Earth.
Although not an engineer by training, she has developed her work in the fields of engineering, medicine and biochemistry. Among her most notable contributions is the installation and maintenance of solar panels on the International Space Station, which has advanced energy sustainability with a practical demonstration of the viability of solar energy in extreme environments.
She has been noted for her work in space exploration and the study of sustainable energy systems
Her work is undeniably useful in sustainable development processes and strategies. Another significant example of this is her contribution to the development of water recycling systems, which reduce dependence on external supplies and optimise resource consumption. Thanks to her work, astronauts can collect, purify, filter and reuse water from fluids such as their urine or sweat for their own consumption. An invaluable contribution to the reuse systems for grey water (used water from washing utensils, clothes and bathing) and brown water (wastewater with a high organic load) on our planet.
Her pioneering contribution had an impact in various fields such as health, the environment and energy. In the last of these disciplines, she stood out as an indispensable figure in improving energy efficiency and the responsible use of resources.
Graduating from MIT in 1873, eleven years later she was the first woman to be admitted to the teaching staff of this prestigious university institution. Throughout her career she was a tireless advocate for the importance of energy conservation, efficient fuel management, the adoption of clean technologies and the sustainability of energy production.
She stood out as a key figure in improving energy efficiency and the responsible use of resources
The problem of emissions and waste from human activities was one of her main interests, carrying out studies on air and water quality to propose measures to control and regulate pollution. In this way, she laid the foundations of modern sanitary and environmental engineering, which seeks to protect human health and preserve natural resources.
She was also an outstanding educator and especially a strong advocate of science education for women. Her legacy lives on today, both in the field of energy and the environment and in education.
May this small tribute to these successful women who dreamed so that their work would be recognised serve to inspire budding women engineers to create a better future. The dissemination of their progress is crucial for the continued growth of the number of women and girls in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines.