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Scholarship Descriptions

SWE-SCV provides the following endowed scholarships to women studying engineering and computer science.

Irmgard Flugge­Lotz Scholarship (established 1992)

The Irmgard Flugge­Lotz Scholarship is our most prestigious endowed scholarship, recognizing a true aeronautics pioneer. Born in Germany in 1903, she was one of the first women in the world to study aeronautics, earning her doctorate in 1929. She applied her mathematical skills to develop lifting line theory, a fundamental breakthrough to compute the lift distribution of an airplane wing. She left Europe in 1948 to teach at Stanford University, with a focus on fluid mechanics, numerical methods, and automatic control theory. In 1960, she became the first female full professor in Stanford's College of Engineering. In 1970, she was selected as the recipient of the SWE Achievement Award, the highest honor awarded nationally by SWE.

Mary Ross Scholarship (established 1992)

This endowed scholarship is in honor and memory of Mary G. Ross. She was hired by Lockheed as a mathematician in 1942, and eventually became the first woman engineer to work for the company. She was a pioneer in the research, development, and application of theories on ballistics, orbital mechanics, and astrophysics, and was a Registered Professional Engineer in California. Many of her professional contributions have gone unrecognized, as much of her work remains classified to this day. However, she received the 1961 Woman of Distinction Award from the San Francisco Examiner, became an Honorary Life Member of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society in 1973, and was inducted into the Silicon Valley Hall of Fame in 1992. She was dedicated in her support of girls and Native Americans pursuing careers in engineering and science.

Esther H. Williams Scholarship (established 1992)

This scholarship is in honor and memory of Esther H. Williams, an internationally recognized expert in aerospace materials and failure analysis. Her distinguished career with Lockheed Missiles & Space Company spanned more than 30 years, including visionary work with the use of titanium in aircraft, and key contributions to both the Lockheed Polaris missile and the Hubble Space Telescope. She was a founder of both the Los Angeles and the Santa Clara Valley Sections of SWE. She retired in 1992, a year after she was inducted into the Silicon Valley Hall of Fame. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to honor Esther through this scholarship in her name.

Al Gardner Scholarship (established 1992)

Al Gardner was an active supporter and honorary member of the Society of Women Engineers. He earned his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Aeronautical Engineering from New York University, then studied for a second Masters in Industrial Engineering at Ohio State University. He was a dedicated supporter of women engineers through his influential position as assistant to four presidents at Lockheed Missiles & Space Company. His drive and determination helped pave the way for women engineers since the 1960s, and we are pleased to honor his vital contributions to SWE-­SCV by awarding this scholarship in his name.

Mary Nell Rogers Scholarship

This scholarship is in honor and memory of Mary Nell Rogers. After working as an electrical engineer in the 1950s, she interrupted her career to raise a family. She resumed her career in 1976, working for Lockheed Missiles & Space Company. Her lasting legacy is as a tireless advocate for education outreach, including SWE's GetSET and scholarship programs, and innumerable contributions within the Girl Scouts. In addition, as an officer in SWE, the Girl Scouts, and the Silicon Valley Engineering Council, she made vital contributions to the operational effectiveness of each organization. She mentored dozens of young professionals, enthusiastically sharing her knowledge and methods, and encouraging their life­long volunteerism.

In addition, each year we award other Scholarships supported by Corporate and Individual donors. This year:

  • SanDisk
  • SWE-SCV Section

Additional Recognition

SWE-SCV also wants to recognize Jane Kim, who has been a generous sponsor of our scholarship program.

Jane immigrated from South Korea as a child and was raised in Santa Clara Valley.  She was honored to be selected as one of the recipients of SWE-SCV scholarships funded by HP and continued her education at UC Berkeley. Her professional experience includes roles at Syntex, Samsung, and Logitech, and she is currently working at SanDisk as a Customer Operations Manager supporting HP. Jane says, "I very much enjoy the opportunities to give back to the SWE community and feel highly motivated to support and encourage the young women entering the field."