Elisa Leonida Zamfirescu Google Doodle: By dedicating a doodle to Elisa Leonida Zamfirescu on her 131st birthday on Saturday, Google paid a tribute to one of the first women engineers in the world.
The first female member of the General Association of Romanian Engineers, Zamfirescu ran laboratories under Geological Institute of Romania and supervised a number of economic studies involving Romania’s supply of natural resources like coal, bauxite, chromium, shale, copper and natural gas. Saturday’s doodle signified her field of work.
Born on November 10, 1887 in the Romanian port city of Galati, Zamfirescu graduated from the Central School of Girls in Bucharest and had even earned a baccalaureate from Mihai Viteazul High School. However, due to prejudices regarding women in science, her application to the School of Highways and Bridges was rejected.
She then obtained a degree from Berlin in 1912. According to the Google blog on Elisa Leonida Zamfirescu, an edition of Romania’s daily newspaper Minerva reported about Zamfirescu passing her final exam for Diploma in Engineering with great success and declared that “The future of women in engineering is great”.
Zamfirescu worked for Red Cross during the World War I. She served as a hospital manager around Maraseti, which was the battleground for the final major faceoff between Romania and Germany in 1917.
She taught physics and chemistry at Pitar Mos School of Girls and School of Electricians and Mechanics in Bucharest. She was also known for her dedication towards work and paying special attention towards training and mentoring young chemists.
Zamfirescu died in 1973. To commemorate Zamfirescu’s legacy, the street where she lived was renamed after her in 1993. Besides this, an award named “Premiul Elisa Leonida-Zamfirescu” was introduced in 1997 to honour the female contributors in the field of science and technology.