Mary Fergusson

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Mary (Molly) Isolen Fergusson (28 April 1914 in Stoke – 30 November 1997 in London) was a British engineer, the first female fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, elected in 1957.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Molly Fergusson was born at Stoke, Devonport, the daughter of Mildred Gladys Mercer and John N. Fraser Fergusson. Her father made radiography equipment.[2] She earned an engineering degree from the University of Edinburgh in 1933, and began work as an apprentice at Blyth and Blyth of Edinburgh, working on bridges in Scotland. She eventually became a senior partner in the firm in 1948, making her the first female senior partner in a UK civil engineering firm. [3] She retired from full-time work in 1978. Fergusson continued her engineering work as a consultant, using her fees to create and support a fund to help engineering students. She was active as a member of the Women's Engineering Society and other community organisations. She received an OBE in 1979.[1]


A building at Edinburgh has been renamed in honour of her.[4]


  1. ^ a b Haines, Catharine M. C., International women in science: a biographical dictionary to 1950, p. 98
  2. ^ Nina Baker, "Fergusson, Mary Isolen (Molly), in Elizabeth Ewan, Sue Innes, and Sian Reynolds, eds., The Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women (University of Edinburgh Press 2007): 117.
  3. ^ Nina Baker, "Two Hundred Years of Women Bridge Builders," presentation at the University of Strathclyde (2006)
  4. ^ Renaming the University of Edinburgh