Peggy Hodges

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Peggy Hodges
Peggy Hodges.jpg
Peggy Lilian Hodges

(1921-06-11)11 June 1921
London, England, United Kingdom
Died21 November 2008(2008-11-21) (aged 87)
Buckinghamshire, England, United Kingdom
EducationGirton College, Cambridge
OccupationEngineer, mathematician, physicist
Known forGuided weapons technology
AwardsWhitney Straight Award 1970 OBE 1972

Peggy Lilian Hodges OBE FRAeS FIMA (11 June 1921 – 21 November 2008)[1] was a British engineer who worked on guided missile technology at GEC Marconi.

Early life and education[edit]

Hodges was born in Lewisham,[2] south east London on 11 June 1921 before moving to Westcliff-on-Sea where she was educated at Westcliff High School for Girls. Hodges read Natural Sciences at Girton College, Cambridge and graduated with an Honours degree in 1942.[3]

Engineering career[edit]

After graduation Hodges began her career at Standard Telephone and Cables (STC) as a Junior Radio Engineer in the Radio Division, where she worked on airborne communications and the ILS blind beacon landing equipment.[4]

In 1950 Hodges joined the GEC Applied Electronics Laboratories at Stanmore, Middlesex, where she worked as a microwave and systems engineer, working on guided weapons. Hodges became Systems Manager and then Project Manager of the Guided Weapons Project (Sea Dart Guidance) in the Guided Weapons Division. Among other projects, Hodges worked in the Underwater Weapons Division on trials planning and analysis for air-launched guided torpedoes, and later worked on simulation, identifying problems affecting guided weapons systems. She was finally appointed Simulation Manager.

Retirement and later work[edit]

After her retirement in 1981, Hodges returned to professional work as a general systems consultant in the Guided Weapons Division of Marconi Space and Defence Systems (MSDS), Stanmore. Hodges was President of the Caroline Haslett Trust, which encourages young women to enter the engineering profession, and a member and supporter of Soroptimist International.[5]

Work for the Women's Engineering Society[edit]

Hodges was an active member of the Women's Engineering Society, which she joined in 1960. She held various offices including Member of Council and Careers Officer, and was President of WES[6] in 1971-3. In 1979 Hodges gave the WES Verena Holmes Lecture[7] entitled ‘Control – Feedback completes the circle’.

Awards and recognition[edit]

In 1969 Hodges was elected a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, one of three women Fellows at the time, and was also a member of the Astronautics and Guided Flight Committee. She was a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA) and a member of its Council from 1971-73. Between 1971-75 Hodges was a member of the Engineering Design Advisory Committee (EDAC) and a member of the Science Research Council Control and Instrumentation Sub-Committee between 1980 and 1982. She was elected an Honorary Fellow of the IEEIE (now part of the Institution of Engineering and Technology[8]) in 1994.

Hodges won the Whitney Straight Award in 1970 for outstanding achievement in aviation which was presented by Prince Charles and in the same year appeared in a TV film ‘Made In Britain’ concerned with a “Woman in a Man’s World”. She was awarded an OBE in the 1972 Birthday Honours for her contribution to guided weapons technology.

Hodges' personal papers are deposited in the IET Archives.[9]


A legacy in Hodges will enabled the establishment of the Peggy Hodges Prize, which was awarded to the highest performing female student in second year exams at the University of Hertfordshire's MEng/BEng degree.[10]


  1. ^ "110: peggy hodges". Magnificent Women. Retrieved 23 February 2020.
  2. ^ "Ancestry". Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  3. ^ "Peggy Hodges | Hertfordshire's Hidden Heroines". Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  4. ^ "The Woman Engineer Journal". Archived from the original on 10 May 2019. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  5. ^ "Peggy Hodges OBE 1921-2008 | SI St Albans and District". Retrieved 18 January 2020.
  6. ^ "Presidents Past & Present | Women's Engineering Society". Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  7. ^ "The Verena Holmes Lecture Series | Women's Engineering Society". Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  8. ^ "History of the IET from 1871 to present day - The IET". Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  9. ^ "Search the Archives online catalogue - The IET". Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  10. ^ "Peggy Hodges OBE 1921-2008 | SI St Albans and District". Retrieved 18 January 2020.

External links[edit]