Edith Clarke Biography
Birthday: February 10, 1883 (Aquarius)
Born In: Howard County
Edith Clarke was the first woman to earn an electrical engineering degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She was also the first female professor of electrical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. Born into a prosperous family in Maryland in the late 19th century, she was not expected to become a career woman but a wife, mother, and gracious hostess. The determined young woman did not let societal expectations hinder her professional aspirations and went on to become one of the best known engineers of her era. After studying mathematics and astronomy at Vassar College she embarked on a career as a teacher. While working in this position she realized her true interest in engineering, a field women in the early 20th century seldom ventured into. She spent some time studying civil engineering at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and but left it and proceeded to earn an electrical engineering degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), becoming the first woman to do so. Being a woman she was unable to find work as an engineer but she persevered and eventually became an electrical engineer in the Central Station Engineering Department of General Electric and achieved considerable success with the company. After leaving GE she joined the faculty of the Electrical Engineering Department at the University of Texas at Austin.