Category: women in stem

Amy Barger (b. 1971) is an astronomer whose research
focuses on black holes, quasars and other very distant objects. She is a
professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

She obtained her PhD
from King’s College, University of Cambridge, in 1997, and started researching
the formation and morphology of distant galaxies. She has won numerous prizes
in recognition of her work, such as the Annie J. Cannon Award or the Pierce
Prize of the American Astronomical Society.

Ingeborg Hochmair (b. 1953) is an electrical engineer from Austria.
She helped create the first micro-electronic multi-channel cochlear implant in
1977.

She was the first
woman to obtain a PhD with distinction in electrical engineering from the Technical
University of Vienna. She co-founded the medical device company MED-EL in the
eighties, and so helped create the modern hearing aid.

Sylvia Lawler (1922-1966) was a researcher in the field of human genetics. Her
research focused on leukaemia and trophoblastic disease.

She
was part of the first ever department for the study of human genetics, founded
at University College, London. She became the first female professor at the
Institute for Cancer Research in 1980. She later established the first national
fetal tissue bank in the UK.

Indira Nath (b. 1939) is an immunologist and pathologist from India. Her research focuses
on reaction and nerve damage in leprosy, as well as immune unresponsiveness.

She
specialised in immunology and worked for the Royal College of Surgeons and the
National Institute for Medical Research in London. Her research contributed
greatly to advancements in the understanding and treatment of leprosy.

Winnie Byanyima (b. 1959) is an aeronautical engineer and
politician from Uganda. She was the executive director of Oxfam International
from 2013 to 2019.

She graduated from the
University of Manchester with a degree in aeronautical engineering, becoming
the first Ugandan woman to do so. She worked for Ugandan Airlines and later
became a Member of Parliament. In 2006 she became the director of the Gender
Team in the Bureau for Development Policy at the United Nations Development
Programme.

Angela Belcher (b. 1968) is a biological engineer and professor
at MIT. She is also the director of the Biomaterials Molecular Group at the
same institution.

She received her Phd in
Chemistry from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1997. Her research
includes the creation of a bacteriophage virus and using genetically modified
viruses to build lithium-ion batteries.

Susan B. Horwitz (1955-2014) was a notable computer scientist. She is best known for her research
in programming languages and software engineering.

She got
her PhD in Computer Science from Cornell University in 1985. She later became a
professor at the University of Wisconsin and published numerous paper in the
emerging field of computer science.

Johanna Westerdijk (1883-1961) was a plant pathologist from the Netherlands. She was the
first female professor in the country.

She
studied in Amsterdam, Munich and Zurich, obtaining her PhD in 1906. The same
year she became the director of a phytopathological laboratory in Baarn, and was later in charge of the
International Association of Botanists. She served as the president of the
International Federation of University Women.

Mileva Marić (1875-1948) was a Serbian mathematician and physicist. She was the only
woman in the same class as Albert Einstein at the Zurich Polytechnic, and
became his wife in 1903.

She studied mathematics, physics and astronomy in Zurich, and was only
the second woman to finish the full programme in that department. Some evidence
suggests that she contributed to Einstein’s early work, especially the Annus
Mirabilis Papers.

Catherine Calderwood
(b. 1968) is an obstetrician and
gynaecologist from Belfast, Northern Ireland. She has been the Chief Medical
Officer of Scotland since 2015.

After studying
medicine at the University of Glasgow, she worked for various hospitals and
eventually became the national clinical director for maternity and women’s
health within NHS England. She has also been the senior medical officer for
women’s and children’s health for the Scottish Government.