WWI engineering workshop


International Women in Engineering Day is a global celebration of women past, present and future. As was the case in many professions, female pioneers in mechanical engineering had to work hard to break into a male dominated profession. The issue of women members was first raised in the Institution of Automobile Engineers (IAE) in May 1907. Miss Cleone de Heveningham Benest (1880-1963) wrote to find out … Continue reading CELEBRATING WOMEN

WWI engineering workshop


This week marks 100 years since (some) women got the vote in this country. It is also 100 years since a woman first presented a paper at the Institution. Olive Monkhouse talked about The Employment of Women in Munitions Factories. World War I brought with it a huge increase in demand for munitions, at the same time the workforce was reduced by men signing up … Continue reading EMPOWERING WOMEN


Kitty May Brunell was one of a clutch of women motorsport riders in the 1920s-1930s. Born in 1911, Kitty grew up surrounded by racing. Her father was Bill Brunell (officially William Joseph Brunell), a well-known photographer of motorsports. Her mother was Katie Margaret Meech. Brunell officially began rallying in 1928, she was only seventeen at the time, but it seems she stopped around 1933. Despite … Continue reading WOMEN RIDERS

Women factory workers 1917


Magnificent Women and their Revolutionary Machines Guest blog from Henrietta Heald Loughborough University’s Pioneering Women: There must be some sort of creative magic in the air of Loughborough. This thought occurred to me last week when I heard that two 16-year-old schoolboys from the Leicestershire town had been jointly awarded the title Young Engineer of the Year. Sankha Kahagala-Gamage and David Bernstein won the prize for inventing a vest … Continue reading CLAUDIA & VERENA

Bolts and Nuts: My take on Mechanical Engineering — African Women in Science and Engineering

As a young girl growing up, I was always fascinated by the things around me. When I looked at human beings, birds, airplanes, ships and cars, one question constantly plagued my mind, “How do they function the way they do?” via Bolts and Nuts: My take on Mechanical Engineering — African Women in Science and Engineering Continue reading Bolts and Nuts: My take on Mechanical Engineering — African Women in Science and Engineering

Women factory workers 1917

Letting The Women In – When did engineering organisations first admit women? — women engineers’ history

The early history of women becoming professional engineers in the UK, at the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries is full of the barriers and gatekeepers which had to be passed before women could get in. Obviously, getting the education was one barrier but another was that the professionalisation of engineering brought about […] via Letting The Women In – When did engineering organisations … Continue reading Letting The Women In – When did engineering organisations first admit women? — women engineers’ history

Lovelace's diagram from Note G, the first published computer algorithm


11th Oct 2016 is Ada Lovelace Day (ALD). It is an international day of celebration of women’s achievements in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). The day aims to increase the profile of women in STEM and thereby create new role models who will encourage more girls into STEM careers. One way of doing this is through providing resources for schools. It also aims to support women currently … Continue reading ADA LOVELACE DAY

Christian Friedrich Lautenschlager in a Mercedes in the 1914 French Grand Prix


Planes, trains and automobiles: mechanical engineering archives now online Over 1900 images from the archives and historic book collection of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) are now available online via VADS. From pictures of experimental cars, aeroplanes, engine designs, engineers portraits, railway locomotives and much more. Highlights include works of art of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway, images of Napier engines, design drawings of … Continue reading IMAGE LIBRARY ONLINE

Girl with motorised bike, c1898


  This picture of a very early British motor bicycle originally came from pioneer motorist Montague Graham White’s collection with the note that it was a Lawson 1898-1899 motor bicycle. It is of the first British made motor bicycle that went into production. The first catalogued motor bicycle was the Pennington designed New Beeston Family Motor Cycle, it was featured in their 1898 sales folder … Continue reading EARLY MOTOR BICYCLES

Haslett, Dame Caroline - seated at desk

ANNIVERSARIES SERIES – Dame Caroline Haslett

This month makes 120 years since the birth of Dame Caroline Haslett. Dame Haslett was born on 17th August 1895 in West Sussex. The daughter of a railway signal fitter/activist, Haslett had an interest in engineering from a young age. After leaving school, she worked at the Cochran Boiler Company as a junior clerk, becoming both a manager of the office and then during the … Continue reading ANNIVERSARIES SERIES – Dame Caroline Haslett