Google is celebrating the 131st birth anniversary of Elisa Leonida Zamfirescu who is considered as the world’s first female engineer, with a Google Doodle. Elisa Leonida Zamfirescu started working during World War I, and her pursuits continued well after the war when she led several geology laboratories and even participated in various field studies. These included some that identified new resources of coal, shale, natural gas, chromium, bauxite and copper.
Minerva, a Romanian daily newspaper, reported in 1912 that, “The future of women in engineering is great. Miss Elisa Leonida passed the last final exam with great success, obtaining a Diploma in Engineering.”
Zamfirescu was born on this day in 1887 in the Romanian port city of Galați. As for her schooling, she graduated with high marks from the Central School of Girls which is in Bucharest, she even earned a baccalaureate from Mihai Viteazul High School. But her first rejection because of gender came when she applied to the engineering School of Highways and Bridges.
And this was not the first time she was discriminated against, when she followed up by applying to the Royal Technical Academy in Berlin, and one of the deans there told her that she would be better off focusing on “Kirche, kinder, and kuche” (Church, children, and cooking).
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But she braved all this and persisted on the course for three years to become the first female engineer the world has seen. In 1993, her legacy was commemorated in Romania by the government by naming one of the capital city’s street in her honor.