5 African Americans Among Other Women in STEM who Contributed to Engineering

3 min readJun 12, 2022

Here is a list of five women among other geniuses who played important roles in the advancement of engineering.

  1. Alice H. Parker (1885–1920)

Alice H. Parker was an African-American who patented a gas furnace. Her invention finds its significance in engineering when studying thermodynamics and heat transfer/exchange.

2. Hattie T. Scott Peterson (1913–1993)

Hattie T. Scott Peterson was known as the first African-American with a civil engineering bachelor’s degree. She was also the first woman engineer in her local U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).

3. Katherine Coleman Johnson (August 26, 1918 — February 24, 2020)

Katherine Johnson worked as a human “computer” for NASA and her orbital mechanics' calculations led to the success of spaceflights, sending astronauts into orbit as well as to the Moon and back to earth.

4. Mary Winston Jackson (April 9, 1921 — February 11, 2005)

Mary Jackson was a mathematician and aerospace engineer who became the first black female engineer to join NASA. She had the most engineering senior title available in NASA and contributed to several ground-breaking discoveries. She also helped her community in the field of education and career development.

5. Georgianna Yvonne Young (April 13, 1929 — January 27, 2019)

Yvonne Clark was the first woman to get a mechanical engineering degree from Howard University; the first woman to graduate with an Engineering Management master’s degree from Vanderbilt University, and the first woman to become a college engineering faculty member at Tennessee State University. She later became a professor emeritus).

This list includes African American figures from the State only whose contributions have been documented. Around the world, there are many other people of color and those from minority groups that have impacted the field of engineering and STEM in general. Some of them have remained anonymous while the contributions of some others may not be known. Their impact, nevertheless, still resounds. Currently, more and more people and women from minorities group are keeping up with the legacy of scientific discoveries as well as history keepers who are telling stories truthfully.




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