The 2020 James Sutherland History Lecture given by Steven Brindle covered the emergence of structural engineering as a profession over the last 200 years. This paper covers the same period but from a slightly different perspective, looking at some early women in structural engineering.
The paper is in two parts. The first is by Nina Baker and provides some general context and an overview of some of the better-known women engineers of this period. The second is by Fiona Cobb and will cover new research into two figures of particular interest to the Institution of Structural Engineers.
For this, there are two candidates as ‘first woman’ of the Institution: Florence Taylor (1926) and Mary Irvine (1947). They are of particular interest as we approach their Institution anniversaries.
The centenary of Taylor’s membership will be in 2026 and the 75th anniversary of Irvine’s will be in 2022.