Lehigh celebrates the impact of women engineers

Unfinished Business

The path for women in STEM at Lehigh hasn't always been smooth—and is still a work in progress. Here, we trace back where we were, where we are, and where we aspire to be.

It isn't easy being the first person to do something.

In the case of Patti Ota, Lehigh's first woman engineering faculty member, that fact might be an understatement.

In 1971, Ota was finishing up her PhD at the University of Pennsylvania when her dissertation supervisor recommended her for an adjunct position teaching electrical engineering at Lehigh.

As she walked across campus that first day, she wasn't thinking about how she was about to make history. Having completed her master's in electrical engineering and her PhD in computer science at Penn, Ota was used to being the only woman in most things she did—and what that meant.

Read the full story by Christine Fennessy >>>


They're improving the efficiency of drug delivery, creating faster ways to process data, and building machines to grow films for electronics. They're authoring papers, launching startups, and mentoring youth. A new generation of women is taking research and scholarship in the Rossin College to greater heights. Meet some of the tomorrow's leaders in engineering—making their impact today upon our campus and our community:



Leaders in aerospace, manufacturing, technology, and other industries—including members of Lehigh's first co-ed undergraduate class—reflect on their educational experience and share their advice for the next generation of women targeting careers in STEM fields. 


The representation of women on the Rossin College's faculty continues to increase. In labs and classrooms across Lehigh's campus, these engineers are conducting innovative research, teaching in all disciplines, and mentoring future leaders.

Engineering Faculty Profiles >>>

For more about Soaring Together, the celebration of Lehigh women and 50 years of coeducation, visit lehigh.edu/soaringtogether.