Lillian Gilbreth – NYSSPE’s Engineer of the Week

Lillian Gilbreth

Lillian Gilbreth

NYSSPE’s Engineer of the week features Lillian Moller Gilbreth, an industrial engineer who was the first American industrial/organizational psychologist.

Lillian Gilbreth was born on May 24, 1878 in Oakland, California. She graduated in 1902 from the University of California with a bachelors and masters in English Literature, and then went on to earn her Ph.D. in psychology in 1915 from Brown University. After she married contracting engineer Frank Gilbreth in 1904, she became his business partner and was exposed to the construction world. She noted that in the process of construction, the individual needs of those who would be using the space were not being considered. It was based on this idea that led Gilbreth to be the first American engineer to create a synthesis of psychology and scientific management. As a mother of twelve, Gilbreth applied this synthesis in the home to make housework more efficient so that more women could also work outside of the home. Examples of this were her invention of the foot pedal trash can and the idea to put shelves inside the refrigerator door.  Later in life, Gilbreth became the first female engineering teacher at Purdue where she taught industrial engineering, industrial psychology and home economics.

 

Reference : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lillian_Moller_Gilbreth

Photo Reference : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lillian_Moller_Gilbreth#/media/File:Lillian_Moller_Gilbreth,_1921.jpg

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