May 2013 Women's
History Calendar

Marilyn Reece previous week next week

Marilyn Reece (1927–2004)

Civil Engineer

Marilyn Jorgenson Reece earned her bachelor's degree in civil engineering in 1948 before moving to California that same year. Her career, which spanned 35 years, began with the State Division of Highways, later named Caltrans. In 1954, she became California's first fully-licensed female civil engineer. She was also the first female engineer to design a freeway interchange, the San Diego-Santa Monica, for which she received the Governor's Design Excellence Award from Governor Pat Brown in 1962. Asked why she became an engineer, she said, "I like mathematics and I didn't want to be a teacher."

A passion for discovery: California women trailblazers
in science, technology, engineering and math

The May Women's History online calendar shines a spotlight on five remarkable women who achieved success in STEM fields – science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The calendar is produced by the California State Library, California Research Bureau, California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls and the California Department of Education. Photo and biographical material are courtesy of Caltrans.