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Laurel van der Wal (d. 2009)

Laurel van der Wal (d. 2009)
Roennau, Laurel V
Data Source:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
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.
Cite As:
Acc. 90-105 - Science Service, Records, 1920s-1970s, Smithsonian Institution Archives
Women engineers, Aerospace engineering, Women scientists
Roennau, Laurel V, University of California (1868-1952), Society of Women Engineers, Space Technology Laboratories, inc
Black-and-white photographs
Local Number:
SIA Acc. 90-105 [SIA2010-0311]
Full Record:!siarchives&uri=full=3100001~!306559~!0#focus
Laurel van der Wal (d. 2009)

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