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Inspirational Female Civil Engineer - Emily Roebling, who built the Brooklyn Bridge

Emily Roebling (1803-1903) - Brooklyn Bridge Engineer

 Ok, so we have all heard of Thomas Eddison or alexander graham bell but if I asked you for the name of a famous female engineer?........yeah thought so 

This week’s warrior was badass right back in the 18 hundred, and I thought this week I would start us off with another female engineer.


 Emily Roebling became the lead engineer to help complete non other than New York’s famous Brooklyn bridge. Yeah that’s right one of the most iconic bridges in the world.

Now Emily wasn’t the original leading engineer on the project, in fact her husband was the main civil engineer but lucky for her (or unlucky depending on how much she loved her husband) He got ill and she stepped up to the plate and finished the build.

Not only was she the chief engineer on the project, but she was the first person to cross the bridge on foot! Holy mosses!

She developed an extensive knowledge of strength of materials, stress analysis, cable construction , and calculating cantenary curves (god only knows what they are?) through Washington's teachings. Emily's knowledge was complemented by her prior interest in and study of the bridge's construction upon her husband's appointment to Chief Engineer.

It took 14 years to complete the build and she over saw the day to day project management. Emily had to work alongside engineers, politicians and workers on the bridge, she was so involved that some people actually thought she was a designer too.  This woman was clearly killing it!

As far as I aware, Emily didn't have any formal qualifications and pretty much learnt all her engineering skills from her farther in law and husband!

There was an opening ceremony for the bridge and  Emily was honoured in a speech by Abram Stevens Hewitt who said at the bridge was "...an everlasting monument to the sacrificing devotion of a woman and of her capacity for that higher education from which she has been too long disbarred"

Today the Brooklyn Bridge is marked with a plaque dedicated to the memory of Emily, her husband Washington Roebling, and her father-in-law John A. Roeblin

 You would have thought after 14 years of bridge building this woman was ready to put her feet up! You would be wrong!  Upon completion of her work on the Brooklyn Bridge, Emily invested her time in several women's causes.

Roebling then went on to pen an essay titled, "A Wife's Disabilities," which won several awards. In the essay, she argued for greater women's rights and railed against discriminatory practices targeted at women. 

What a complete Badass!!

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