GOOGLE Doodle is today paying tribute to one of the world’s first female engineer Elisa Leonida Zamfirescu on what would have been her 131st birthday.
We take a closer look at the life and works of the woman who changed history.
Who was Elisa Leonida Zamfirescu?
Elisa Zamfirescu was born in Galați, Romania on 10 November 1887.
She was the daughter of a career officer and homemaker and had ten siblings.
Elisa is known in history as one of the world’s first female engineers.
During her lifetime, she carved a place for herself in the male-dominated engineering field, going on to lead geology labs and study mineral resources in her home country.
Elisa had wanted to study at the School of Bridges and Roads in Bucharest after graduating high school but was rejected due to her gender as there were heavy prejudices towards women in the sciences.
Instead, she enrolled at the Royal Technical University of Charlottenburg – now known as the Technical University of Berlin – where she studied mechanical engineering.
She began her studies at the school in 1909 and graduated in 1912, becoming one of the first female engineers to do so in Europe.
She later went on to work at Bucharest’s Geological Institute, where she was the head of her laboratory.
During WWI Elisa worked for the Red Cross as a hospital manager in the small town of Mărășești, the site of the final major battle between Romania and Germany on the Romanian front in 1917.
What did she work on in her labs?
As part of her work as the head of her lab, Elisa brought in new methods and new analysis techniques to study minerals and substances like water, coal, and oil.
She is remembered as a dedicated engineer who worked long hours from morning to evening.
Elisa worked well past retirement age and didn’t fully stop until the age of 75 years old after a four-decade career.
How is she honoured?
The street where she lived in Bucharest was renamed in her honour in 1993, 20 years after she died on November 25, 1973 aged 86.
An award named after her was created in 1997.
The “Premiul Elisa Leonida-Zamfirescu” honours female contributors to the fields of technology and science and is still awarded today.
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What is a Google Doodle?
In 1998, the search engine founders Larry and Sergey drew a stick figure behind the second ‘o’ of Google as a message to that they were out of office at the Burning Man festival and with that, Google Doodles were born.
The company decided that they should decorate the logo to mark cultural moments and it soon became clear that users enjoyed the change to the Google homepage and search results.
In that same year, a turkey was added to Thanksgiving and two pumpkins appeared as the ‘o’s for Halloween the following year.
Now, there is a full team of doodlers, illustrators, graphic designers, animators and classically trained artists who help create what you see on those days.
Among the Doodles published in 2018 were ones commemorating cartographer Abraham Ortelius, Egyptian actor Omar Sharif and St Patrick’s Day.
And of course there was a whole series for the football World Cup in Russia.
Earlier in the year, the search giant celebrated the Paralympics in 2018 in Pyeongchang with an animated design celebrating each of the sports the winter Paralympians competed in.
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