As this Rutgers Today Feature says, Dr. Lisa C. Klein is a woman of firsts:
She was the first female professor in Rutgers University’s School of Engineering in 1977.
She’s performed pioneering research on sol-gel processing – a low temperature way to make ceramics and coatings that led to energy-saving coatings for windows.
She became the first woman elevated to professor II in the School of Engineering. It’s the equivalent of today’s distinguished professor status.
“At first, it was lonely to be the only woman faculty member in the School of Engineering,” said Klein, 64. “It prompted me to look elsewhere within Rutgers, so I met women in chemistry and geology. Also, I found the Douglass Project for Rutgers Women in Math, Science, and Engineering, which has been a great affiliation for many years.”
Although a network of female faculty developed after the School of Engineering began adding women to their ranks, today less than 25 percent of engineering students and faculty are women. It’s been a slow process, Klein said, pointing to the 32 years it took before a second woman was hired in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, where Klein has devoted her career.