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1st Lady of Engineering

Photo of Lillian Gilbreth and children
Lillian Gilbreth with 8 of her 12 children
March is National Women’s History Month, and in its honor Purdue Industrial Engineering salutes America’s “First Lady of Engineering” Lillian Gilbreth.
Purdue IE salutes Lillian Gilbreth
Gilbreth (1878-1972) was an industrial engineering pioneer, the first woman faculty member in the Purdue University College of Engineering (1935-1948), advisor to six presidents, friend of Amelia Earhart, improver of surgical procedures, designer of equipment and procedures for disabled veterans and homemakers – and mother of 12 children! 

The 1950 and 2003 movies, "Cheaper by the Dozen", portray the Gilbreths' often-humorous family life. But Gilbreth accomplished much more than appears in the movies. She personifies the 2018 Women's History Month theme of "Nevertheless She Persisted: Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination Against Women" - and did so with grace, tact and intelligence.