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The Women of Engineering

The Women of Engineering

Although Santa Clara University went co-ed in 1961 by admitting women into its undergraduate program, it wasn’t until Nancy Streuter(now Nancy Streuter Austin) enrolled in the undergraduate civil engineering program in 1964 that the all-male tradition was broken in the School of Engineering. In 1968, Streuter became the first woman to graduate with a bachelor's degree in engineering from SCU. A year later, three more females joined the ranks of Bronco engineering alumnae, one of whom, Lee Hornberger (nee Emery) later joined the faculty of the mechanical engineering department and served as associate dean of the graduate program.

In 2000, Santa Clara engineering women Maureen Breiling, Dina Hadi, Corinna Hu, Theresa Kuhlman, Amy Slaughterbeck and Adelia Valdez made history as the first all-undergraduate, first all-female team in the United States to design, build, and launch satellites into space. Working on the Artemis Project, named for the Greek goddess of hunting and the moon, the team spent thousands of hours preparing the satellites to collect data from lightning storms around the globe.

Today, the women and men of Santa Clara engineering benefit from a faculty that at 30% female is Number 1 in the nation for percentage of women faculty tenure or tenure-track. As one alumna put it, “…it is very empowering to know that some of the best classes, where I have learned the most, have been taught by some highly regarded women.”

Read more about our alumnae here.