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Women in STEM: Profiles of Women in STEM

Introduction

The women profiled on this page have made significant contributions to the sciences, and each is currently working in her respective field. Click on their names and photos to read more about them.

Mechanical Engineering

Dame Ann Dowling

Dowling is the President of the Royal Academy of Engineering in the UK (fewer than 5% of the Academy are women), and one of the most prominent engineers in Britain. Dowling is helping to develop the first single-wing airliner and low-emissions jet engines.

Medicine

Françoise Barré-Sinoussi

In 2008, Dr. Barré-Sinoussi was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for her discovery of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Today, she is a leading HIV researcher and President of the International AIDS Society.

Computer Programming

Shurouq Al Hamaideh

After attending a United Nations training program focused on women entrepreneurs, Al Hamaideh launched a business in her home country of Jordan to teach teenagers how to code and build websites. Half of her coding students are teenage girls.

Physics

Donna Strickland

In 2018, Dr. Strickland became the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 55 years. Strickland received the award for her research in increasing the intensity of lasers.

Planetary Geology

Adriana Ocampo

In 1989, while examining satellite images of Mexico's Yucatan peninsula, Dr. Ocampo discovered the 130-mile wide Chicxulub impact crater left by the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs. Her research has contributed to our understanding of that crater. Currently, she is a Science Program Manager at NASA, and she has worked on the Juno and New Horizons missions which imaged Jupiter and Pluto.

Astronaut

Mae Jemison

Jemison became the first African-American woman in space when she flew aboard the shuttle Endeavor in 1992. A Chicago native, she is currently retired from her career as a physician and professor of environmental science.

Physics

Shirley Ann Jackson

Dr. Jackson was the second African-American woman to receive a doctorate in physics, and currently, she is the first African-American woman to be President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She served on President Obama's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, and became the first African-American woman to be awarded the National Medal of Science.

Chemistry

Frances Arnold

Dr. Arnold was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2018 and became the fifth woman to ever do so. She, along with her fellow researchers, used "directed evolution" to engineer enzymes used in new drugs and plant-derived fuels.