Kitty O'Brien Joyner

Kitty O'Brien Joyner

Kitty O'Brien Joyner (July 11, 1916 – August 16, 1993) was an American electrical engineer with the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), and then with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) upon its replacement of NACA in 1958.

She was the first woman to graduate from the University of Virginia's engineering program in 1939, receiving the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award upon graduation.

When she was hired by NACA the same year, she became the first woman engineer at the organization, eventually rising to the title Branch Head and managing several of its wind tunnels.

Her work contributed to research on aeronautics, supersonic flight, airfoils, and aircraft design standards. Her work had implications for military and commercial flight applications, and she was influential in the production of aircraft design standards that continued to be relevant many years later.


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