Mary Fergusson is thought to be the first woman in the UK to have had a full-time care er as an engineer and was the first female ICE Fellow.
Fergusson’s father, who made medical X-ray equipment, introduced her to engineering. She later graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a BSc Hons in civil engineering in 1936.
Her career began as an unpaid trainee with Scottish firm Blyth & Blyth. She quickly progressed through the company and was appointed as a senior partner - the first woman to have held this position in a civil engineering company.
Fergusson contributed to many infrastructure projects in the Highlands & Islands and gained a reputation for her energy and enthusiasm. She also worked on the Markinch paper mills and was responsible for the design of reinforced concrete bridges, steel-framed buildings and the River Leven water purification plant.
Fergusson was made an ICE Fellow in 1957.
After retiring in 1978, she continued to work as a consultant but used her earnings to fund a university bursary for young engineers. She was awarded an OBE in 1979 and an Honorary Doctorate of Science at Heriot-Watt University six years later..