Skip to Main Content
Edith Clarke's electrical engineering career had as a central theme the development and dissemination of mathematical methods that served to simplify and reduce the time spent on laborious calculations in solving problems encountered in the design and operation of large electrical power systems. As an engineer with the General Electric Company from the early 1920's to 1945, she worked during a time when power system analysis was evolving from being labor intensive to being machine intensive, with much of the labor of problem solving being shifted from human computors, often women, to electromechanical computers, such as the network analyzer and differential analyzer. This trend culminated in the development of electronic computers beginning with the ENIAC that was completed during the same year that she retired from GE. As a woman who worked in an environment traditionally dominated by men, she demonstrated that women could perform engineering analysis at least as well as men if given the opportunity. Her achievements provided an inspiring example for the next generation of women with aspirations to seek a career in electrical engineering.