Engineer of the Week No.109: Gertrude Lillian Entwisle BSc, AMIEE (1892 -18th November 1961)
On the 58th anniversary of her death, today we remember electrical engineer Gertrude Entwisle.
A Lancashire lass, Gertrude was educated at Milham Ford School, Oxford and then at Manchester High School For Girls, where she was awarded an Exhibition to enable her to attend Manchester University to study physics. She was one of the first women to attend engineering lectures at the University, after the engineering faculty decided to open its classes to women mid-way through her physics degree. She was the first woman to be admitted to the technical staff of British Westinghouse, the first woman member of the Society of Technical Engineers and the first Student, Graduate and Associate Member of the IEE (now the IET). She owned a threewheel Harper Runabout – acurious blend of motor-trike and small car. She worked mainly on the design of DC motors and generators until 1923 when she spent about 20 years working on AC before returning to DC motors during the Second World War. One of her largest designs was the DC motor for a motor generator flywheel set on the winding gear at Broken Hill mines in Australia. Towards the end of her career she became a specialist in large exciters for coal and hydropower stations. An early member of WES, she became Vice President in 1937 but yielded the presidency for 1938 to Caroline Haslett so that the latter could be president during the society’s 21st birthday year, but was then president for 1942. She retired from Metropolitan-Vickers in 1954, after a 39-year career, and died in 1961.