Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

First woman civil engineer remembered

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..

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs