Nancy Deloye Fitzroy

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Nancy Burr Deloye Fitzroy
Born Nancy Burr Deloye
October 5, 1927
Pittsfield, Massachusetts
Nationality United States
Education B.ChE.
Alma mater Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Occupation Engineering
Spouse(s) Roland Victor Fitzroy, Jr.

Nancy Burr Deloye Fitzroy (Born October 5, 1927) is an American engineer specializing in heat transfer and fluid dynamics.


Born Nancy Burr Deloye in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, she became the first female student to study chemical engineering at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, graduating with a bachelor's degree in 1949. Hired by Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory in 1950, she worked as an assistant engineer with the heat transfer group.[1] In 1952, she became a development engineer for General Electric, initially working on the Hermes Missile Program[2] and designing heat transfer surfaces for nuclear reactor cores.[3] Nancy would remain with the General Electric company for the next 37 years. There she met her future husband, electrical engineer Roland Victor Fitzroy, Jr.;[4] the couple were married in 1951.

Nancy specialized as a heat transfer engineer with the Advanced Technology Laboratories beginning in 1963. In 1965 she was a heat transfer consultant with the Research and Development Center, working on gas turbines, space satellites and other technologies.[2] She was appointed editor of the GE heat transfer and fluid flow data books, a reference work that was made available by subscription to engineers world-wide beginning in 1970.[1]

During the 1970s, Nancy turned to administrative and management roles. She was named manager for heat transfer consulting in 1971, a strategic planner from 1974–76, then an advanced concepts planner and proposal manager up to 1979. During 1979–1982 she was a manager of energy and environmental programs with GE's Turbine Market and Projects Division. Thenceforth she worked as a consultant involved with gas turbines, nuclear energy, and space vehicles. From June 1986–87 she became the first female president of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers[2]—the first woman to head a major national engineering society.[5] She retired in 1987.[3]

Nancy Fitzroy was one of the first female helicopter pilots, and both she and her husband enjoyed flying, sailing and travelling.[4] The Nancy DeLoye Fitzroy and Roland V. Fitzroy Medal was established in 2011 by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers to "pioneering contribution to the frontiers of engineering leading to a breakthrough(s) in existing technology or leading to new applications or new areas of engineering endeavor". Nancy serves as chair for the committee that selects the recipients.[6]

Awards and honors[edit]

  • Achievement Award, Society of Women Engineers (1972)[2]
  • Demers Medal, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (1975)[2]
  • Davies Medal, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (2014)[7]
  • Centennial Medal, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (1980)[2]
  • Federation of Professional Women Award (1984)[2]
  • Honorary Fellow, Institution of Mechanical Engineers (1987)[8]
  • Elected to the National Academy of Engineering (1996)[9]
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Hall of Fame (1999)[10]
  • Honorary Membership Award, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (2008)[3]
  • Honorary Doctorate in Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute[9]
  • Honorary Doctor of Science Degree, New Jersey Institute of Technology[9]


  • GE heat transfer and fluid flow data books (1955–1974)
  • Career guidance for women entering engineering (1973)


  1. ^ a b "Women engineers unit commends Mrs. Fitzroy", Schenectady Gazette, Edison Tech Center, p. 33, June 26, 1972, retrieved 2013-04-17. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Wayne, Tiffany K. (2011), American Women of Science Since 1900, ABC-CLIO, LLC, pp. 398–399, ISBN 1598841580. 
  3. ^ a b c "Nancy DeLoye Fitzroy", Notables, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, retrieved 2013-04-17. 
  4. ^ a b "Nancy DeLoye Fitzroy", Engineering Hall of Fame, Edison Tech Center, 2002, retrieved 2013-04-17. 
  5. ^ "Deloyle Named ASME President" (PDF), CSWP Gazette, American Physical Society, 6 (1), February 1986, retrieved 2013-04-17. 
  6. ^ "Nancy DeLoye Fitzroy and Roland V. Fitzroy Medal", Engineering honors, awards, and achievement awards, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, retrieved 2013-04-17. 
  7. ^ "Mechanical Engineering Pioneer, First Woman President of ASME To Receive Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Davies Medal", RPI News, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, May 2, 2014, retrieved 2017-08-30. 
  8. ^ "Honorary Fellows", Engineering Heritage, Institution of Mechanical Engineers, retrieved 2013-04-17. 
  9. ^ a b c Bernard, Peter (January 31, 1996), "Pentagon Gives Awards To 18 Local Optometrists", SunSentinel, retrieved 2013-04-17. 
  10. ^ "Nancy DeLoye Fitzroy", Alumni Hall of Fame, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, retrieved 2013-04-16. 

External links[edit]