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4 Innovators Honored At Inventors HOF For Women’s History Month

The National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) Museum is showcasing four female Inductees this month with a new panel exhibit.

During Women’s History Month, NIHF is celebrating four innovators with a new exhibit. NIHF has partnered with the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) to honor four women who are innovators, experimenters, trailblazers and pioneers in engineering and technology at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) headquarters. The 14-panel exhibit, displayed during March, will feature information on historical inventors Mária Telkes and Edith Clarke, but also feature living inventors’ stories from Barbara Liskov and Jacqueline Quinn.

Mária Telkes

2012 National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductee

Mária Telkes led an all-female team to design and build the Dover Sun House in 1948 – a home exclusively heated by solar energy. Telkes’ lifetime of experimentation and research developing solar solutions for stoves, heaters, and materials for the space program earned her the nickname “Sun Queen.” Telkes received the 1952 Society of Women Engineers Achievement Award.

Edith Clarke

2015 National Inventors Hall of Fame

Edith Clarke was among the first female electrical engineers to be professionally employed in her field during a time of historic education inequality for women. Her invention, the Graphical Calculator, became a vital contribution to electrical engineers by simplifying equations used to understand transmission lines. Clarke received the 1954 Society of Women Engineers Achievement Award.

Jacqueline Quinn

2018 National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductee

To address rocket fuel pollution at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Jacqueline Quinn and her team developed Emulsified Zero-Valent Iron (EZVI) – an environmentally safe, cost-effective way to treat groundwater contaminants. Because of its effectiveness, EZVI is one of NASA’s most-licensed technologies. Quinn received the 2004 Technical Achievement Award from the Society of Women Engineers Space Coast Section.

Barbara Liskov

2012 National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductee

By focusing on data rather than process, Barbara Liskov showed how software could be made easier to construct and modify. Her invention is the basis of most modern programming languages. It has greatly impacted the software used on personal computers, the internet, and applications, making them easier to operate and maintain. Liskov received the 1996 Society of Women Engineers Achievement Award.

Their stories are unique, but collectively, they’ve influenced each of their industries significantly and inspire the next generation of women scientists, engineers, and chemists. Each of these inventors has been Inducted into the Hall of Fame but also awarded with SWE awards— given to champions of women in STEM.

“These women have made tremendous contributions to society and the engineering community, and remain important role models to our future STEM leaders,” said Karen Horting, executive director and CEO at SWE. “To be able to showcase brilliant women such as Dr. Quinn, Dr. Telkes, Clarke and Dr. Liskov, we are making strides in establishing a positive perception of engineering for young women.”

“We hope these innovation icons will serve as an inspiration to the next generation of students. Our research has shown that exposure to role models positively correlates to a student’s success as an innovator,” NIHF CEO Michael J. Oister said.

The National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum — located at the USPTO’s Madison Building in Alexandria, Virginia — is free and open to the public Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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    4 Innovators Honored…

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