Elisa Leonida Zamfirescu

Elisa Leonida Zamfirescu, would have turned of 131 years on 10 November, 2018. She lived her last breath when she was of 86 years of her age. She was born in Romania and was a pioneering engineer. Zamfirescu, made history as one of the world's first female engineers. Zamfirescu carved herself a spot in a male-dominated field, led geology labs, and studied Romanian mineral resources.

Google honoured woman engineer Elisa Leonida Zamfirescu on 131st birth anniversary with doodle

In the doodle, Elisa Leonida Zamfirescu's picture is placed around rocks placed in a way to form the word 'Google'. Zamfirescu, who was one of the first woman engineers of the world, faced a number of obstacles on her way to pursue education and career.

Her life

Elisa Leonida zamfirescu, the first woman engineer of Romania and the second woman engineer in the world, would have turned 131 years old on 10 November 2018.

She was born on November 10th, 1887 and died on November 25th, 1973.

Women, during those days, were quite unheard of as engineers. Irish Alice Perry, too, graduated only 6 years before Zamfirescu to become the first female engineer of the world.

Her family

  • She was born in Galati, a Romanian city

  • Zamfirescu, who grew up with 10 siblings

  • Her father was a career officer.

She was rejected from her first school of choice due to discrimination against women

She was born in Galati, a Romanian city and graduated from the Central School of Girls in Bucharest. Zamfirescu also earned a baccalaureate from the Mihai Vieazul High School.

Zamfirescu wanted to study at the School of Bridges and Roads in Bucharest after graduating high school but was rejected due to her gender.

Undiscouraged by the rejection, Zamfirescu started looking elsewhere. The Royal Technical Academy in Germany accepted her application in 1909. When she joined the academy, she was subjected to discrimination. A dean once said that she would be better off focusing on Church, children and cooking.

Instead, she went to the Royal Technical University of Charlottenburg, now known as the Technical University of Berlin, where she studied engineering.

Zamfirescu enrolled in 1909 and graduated in 1912, becoming one of the first female engineers to do so in Europe.

Three years later, a 1912 edition of a daily Romanian newspaper reported "The future of women in engineering is great." Zamfirescu successfully cleared her exams and done it with great success. Surpassing the discrimination that came her way, she earned her engineering degree.

She once worked for the Red Cross

Following her graduation, Zamfirescu went to work at Bucharest's Geological Institute, where she was the head of her laboratory.

During World War I, she worked for the Red Cross as a hospital manager around the small town of Mărășești, which was the site of the final major battle between Romania and Germany on the Romanian front in 1917.

During World War I, she joined the Red Cross. Around this time, she met and married chemist Constantin Zamfirescu, brother of writer Duiliu Zamfirescu. After the war, Zamfirescu returned to the Geological Institute. She led several geology laboratories and participated in various field studies, including some that identified new resources of coal, shale, natural gas, chromium, bauxite and copper. Zamfirescu also taught physics and chemistry.

She was a passionate and innovative worker

As part of her work as the head of her lab, Zamfirescu brought in new methods and new analysis techniques to study minerals and substances such as water, coal, and oil, according to Assistant Lecturer PhDc. Eng Iulia-Victoria Neagoe.

She is remembered as a dedicated engineer who worked long hours from morning to evening.

Zamfirescu kept working past retirement age and didn't fully retire until the age of 75 years old after a four-decade career, according to Neagoe.

There is a street named after her

The street where Zamfirescu lived in Bucharest was renamed after her in 1993, 20 years after her death.

This isn't the only way the engineer's name still resonates today: an award named after was created in 1997.

The "Premiul Elisa Leonida-Zamfirescu" honours female contributors to the fields of technology and science.

She was an advocate for international disarmament

In addition to her work as a chemical engineer, Zamfirescu took a stance in favour of disarmament, according to Neagoe.

She filed a complaint with the disarmament committee at London's Lancaster House, with a focus on nuclear threat.

Zamfirescu was the first female member of the General Association of Romanian Engineers (AGIR) and ran laboratories for the Geological Institute of Romania.

Zamfirescu oversaw the economic activities analysing Romania's supply of natural resources like bauxite, copper, coal, shale, natural gas and chromium. Her country honoured her by naming a street after her in Bucharest in 1993.

Google Doodle payed tribute to this lady on her 131 birthday on 10 November 2018.

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