Campus and Community

The first Portuguese female engineer died

The Técnico alumna was a pioneer throughout her career, facing the male stereotypes in engineering at the time.

Instituto Superior Técnico expresses its regret over the loss of engineer Maria Amélia Chaves, the first Portuguese female engineer graduated at Técnico, an example of determination and pioneering spirit, who promoted women’s role in engineering.

She became the first female engineer in 1937. Her work was not confined only at the office and, once again as a pioneer, she went to the field and led a group of workers. She rapidly gained recognition due to her commitment and dedication, overcoming any obstacle or gender issues.

After her first job at Lisbon City Hall, she became a freelance civil engineer, always moved by a spirit of innovation. Maria Amélia Chaves was the first author of the first anti-seismic essays carried out in Portugal. When she was nearly ninety years old she carried out her last anti-seismic essay of the building where she lived.

Engineer Maria Amélia Chaves was honoured by Técnico in 2011, during a ceremony that brought together the first women in Técnico’s history . Her revolutionary spirit will definitely continue to inspire the young women who enter the world of engineering.

Find below Maria Amélia Chaves interview during the celebrations of Técnico’s 100th anniversary.