Laurel van der Wal (d. 2009)

ID: SIA Acc. 90-105 [SIA2010-0311]

Creator: Roennau, Laurel V

Form/Genre: Black-and-white photographs

Date: 1961

Citation: Acc. 90-105 - Science Service, Records, 1920s-1970s, Smithsonian Institution Archives

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Summary

Pioneering female aeronautical engineer Laurel van der Wal (d. 2009) (later Laurel van der Wal Roennau) had had a brief career as a model, art instructor, and deputy sheriff before training to be a pilot during World War II; she returned to University of California to become an aeronautical engineer, winning the Society of Women Engineers Achievement Award in 1961 when she was head of bioastronautics at Space Technology Laboratories. The 1961 press release announcing award emphasized that the "pretty head of bioastronautics at Space Technology Laboratories, Inc." was a "former model" even though the Los Angeles Times had recently named her 1961 Woman Scientist of the Year. She was a specialist in engineering problems of manned space flight, including effects of weightlessness, radiation protection, and development of data handling and processing systems.

Subject

  • Roennau, Laurel V
  • University of California (1868-1952)
  • Society of Women Engineers
  • Space Technology Laboratories, inc

Cite as

Acc. 90-105 - Science Service, Records, 1920s-1970s, Smithsonian Institution Archives

Repository Loc.

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Capital Gallery, Suite 3000, MRC 507; 600 Maryland Avenue, SW; Washington, DC 20024-2520

Date

1961

Restrictions & Rights

All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by the Smithsonian Institution Archives. Contact SIA Reference Staff for further information (email OSIAREF@si.edu)

Topic

  • Aerospace engineering
  • Women scientists
  • Women engineers

Form/Genre

Black-and-white photographs

Local number

SIA Acc. 90-105 [SIA2010-0311]