Hall of Fame (A-G)

Notable Members

Notable members are those that have served the Philadelphia Section in one shape or another.  Some notable members have only been a member of the Philadelphia Section while others have been a member of multiple sections but have left a huge impact on our section.  The list below is in no way a complete list of members that have made a difference on the Philadelphia Section.

Betty Lou Bailey

Betty Lou Bailey, SWE Pioneer, Fellow, and Life Member, was active in the Philadelphia Section from May 1961 through September 1969 when she worked at the General Electric Missile and Space Division in King of Prussia, PA.  For much of this time she served on the Executive Committee in various positions that included Section President and Secretary.  Betty Lou was committed to career guidance activities and often spoke with high school students, their parents, teachers, and counselors about what engineers do, their education and training, salaries, and the satisfaction you get from a job well done.  She was elected to the SWE College of Fellows in 1985.

Betty Lou worked for the General Electric Company throughout her professional career.  She joined GE on a rotating-assignment program for new engineers that took her to Schenectady, NY, Erie, PA, and Philadelphia.  When she was on assignment at GE Switchgear in Philadelphia, she met Doris McNulty who introduced her to SWE and she promptly joined up in 1951. Though Betty Lou  originally planned to focus her engineering talents on household appliances, her experience as a test engineer led her to realize that she liked turbines more than refrigerators.  After completing the new-engineer program, she went to the GE Large Jet Engine Department in Evandale, Ohio and then to the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory in Schenectady before transferring to the Spacecraft Department in King of Prussia in 1961, where she worked on the Nimbus weather satellite and the Manned Orbiting Laboratory program.  In 1969 she transferred to the GE Gas Turbine Department in Schenectady and worked in NY until she retired in 1994 after 44 years with the company.  She was a registered Professional Engineer in Ohio and New York and holds a patent for a variable exhaust nozzle.

Betty Lou attended most of the National Conferences held from the time she joined SWE until 2007, when she passed away about a month after participating in meetings at that event.  She participated in various national committees.  For decades she actively sought out students to discuss what it is like to work for a large company and to introduce them to GE.  She enjoyed needlework and often would work on a project during some especially long meetings, such as some Council of Section Representatives sessions where she was part of the “Peanut Gallery” (i.e., the non-voting members) who observe and are often called upon to provide insight or clarification of various issues under

Betty Lou Bailey was born and raised in Chicago, IL.  She graduated with University Honors from the University of Illinois in 1950 with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and from the Penn State Graduate Center in King of Prussia with a M. Eng. in Engineering Science in 1967.  She was the first woman member of the Engineering Society of Cincinnati and served as chair of its Guidance Committee.  She also served on national committees for the National Society of Professional Engineers, the Engineers Joint Council, and the American Society for Engineering Education.   
Betty Lou also was an active environmentalist, a traveler, an avid canoeist, cyclist and a hiker; she walked the entire Appalachian Trail by doing it in segments over a few years.  She was a member of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) and in 2004 she received their highest award for her work in monitoring hydropower applications to the Federal Regulatory Commission. Her dam-licensing work helped ensure that sufficient water was released downstream to support river life and water recreation. Betty Lou was 78 years old when she died suddenly on November 13, 2007 during an ADK cycling trip.

SWE Archives – Resume
SWE Archives – Speech at Pittsburgh Personnel Conference. 14 January 1954
Ovedoff, Debora. “Mum’s the Word — Her Job’s a Secret.” THE EVENING BULLETIN. 21 November 1968.
Adirondack Mountain Club Statement, http://www.adk.org/issues/BettyLouBailey.aspx
Personal memories – Barbara C. Faust

Heather Bernardin

Heather has worked as an Electrical Engineer and IT professional for over 25 years. She received her BS in EE from Lafayette College and a MS in Computer Engineering from Villanova University. She has worked in a wide range of fields including Defense and Pharmaceuticals. She is currently employed as a Senior Consultant for KSM Technology Partners where she specializes in IT development for the Pharmaceutical industry. In this role she has served as both technical lead and Project manager for multinational teams. In those roles she has managed team members from other companies, including her client and brought projects in on schedule.

Heather has been a professional member of the Philadelphia SWE section for almost 25 years. During that time she has held numerous positions in the section and region. At a section level she has been newsletter editor, scholarship chair, collegiate counselor, secretary (2 years), vice president, president (3 years) and section representative (3 years).

At the region level she has served as a Region E senator, where her activities have included leading a Mega Issues team and a member of the Societies Contingency Reserve Task Force. She has also served as Region E Lieutenant Governor and as the co-chair of the FY14 Region E conference. Finally Heather served two years as Region E governor. Along with her regular Governor duties she worked to transition the region conferences to a regional planning team to keep consistency from year to year. She also served on the alternate senator task force. Her roles in both the section and the region give her a good understanding of the structure of the region and society as well as the struggles that sections encounter.

Susan Best

Susan L. Best, SWE Fellow and Life Member, has been an active in SWE since she joined the Society in 1975 as a civil engineering student at the University of Delaware in 1975.  Her career took her to California and Illinois, where she was active in the Los Angelus and Chicago Regional Sections before coming to the Philadelphia area in 1984.  She has served at the local, region, and national levels.  Susan was Section Treasurer from 1991 to 1993 after which she became more interested in raising funds for the section than in documenting them and became Corporate Liaison from 1996 to 2000.  In addition to serving as the section’s Engineers’ Week Liaison from 1987 to 2009 and the ETSCO (Engineering and Technical Societies Council) Representative from 1987 to 1989 and 1990 to 1993, she was a science fair judge and Certificate of Merit award presenter.  After completing a term at the Society’s Tellers Committee Chair in 1989, Susan served as Region E Treasurer under four Region Directors.  She was also the Region E By-Laws Chair.  In 1984 she switched from chairing the national Membership Committee to the Procedures Committee, where she helped direct the preparation of operating procedures to implement SWE’s organizational change to a regional structure.  She was elected to the SWE College of Fellows in 1996.

Susan Best grew up in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States.  She attended the University of Delaware and completed her degree in civil engineering with High Honors when she graduated in 1976.  Her first job was at Bechtel Power Corporation in Los Angeles, which was conveniently near the University of California-Santa Barbara where her husband pursued his doctorate.  While working full-time she completed her master’s degree in civil engineering at California State University in 1979, specializing in transportation and structural engineering.  She left Bechtel when her husband completed his Ph. D. and she found employment in Chicago.  During her three years in Los Angeles, she was active in the local SWE section, attending meetings and serving on various section committees.

Upon moving to Chicago, Susan continued her career as a structural engineer with American Can Company.  She expanded her service to SWE and began taking a more active leadership role.  She also began her trademark of volunteering to be treasurer of whatever organization she joined.

In 1980, she pursued her primary interest in transportation engineering by working for Barton-Ashman Associates, where she was quickly recognized and given her company’s President’s Award in 1981.  A year later she became a member of the Metro Transportation Group within the company.  During same year she became President of the Chicago Regional Section.

The following year marked the birth of her son, Andrew and her reelection as SWE president.  She returned to work part-time, chaired SWE’s national Membership Committee, and continued in her role as church treasurer.  Her leadership in the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) was also evolving and she served as Director of the Illinois Section.

In 1984, the family returned to the east coast and Susan found employment with Orth-Rodgers and Associates.  She rapidly assimilated into the local engineering community, joining up with the local sections of SWE and ITE, as well as the Engineer’ Club of Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley Engineers Council.  Two years later, she was elected Treasurer of Temple Lutheran Church, a position she held for a number of years.   
In 1985 she joined McCormick, Taylor & Associates, which gave her the opportunity to develop a traffic engineering group that, as manager, she grew to ten people.  In the group she was responsible for the successful completion of the traffic and safety analysis for many environmental
impact studies, and for highway and bridge traffic engineering.  When she was promoted Manager of Technical Services in 1986, she became the highest ranking woman engineer at McCormick Taylor, a firm employing forty engineers with a staff of 110.  In this position she reported directly to the company’s president.  In 1989 she was honored by her company by receiving an Outstanding Achievement Award in Traffic Engineering.

In 1990, her engineering skills and community service were recognized by the Delaware Valley engineering community when she was named the first Young Engineer of the Year.  Her involvement in ITE continued as she rotated through the local and regional offices.  She was elected ITE District 2 President.

In 2002 she joined Urban Engineers and in 2005 was named Delaware County Engineer of the Year by the Delaware County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers.

As her son grew, Susan found another facet of life to embrace, and she began volunteering in various capacities with the Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and the Havertown affiliate of the Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education.  Following the lead of her son, she started karate in 1989 and
achieved a second degree black belt.  She remains active at church and was acknowledged for her contributions with a Temple Honor.   
Susan L. Best, holds professional engineering registration in Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland.  She is an active member of the National Society of Professional Engineers.  She is an active member of ITE, the American Society of Civil Engineers, The American Society of Highway Engineers and the American Consulting Engineers Council, Engineer’s Club of Philadelphia, and Delaware Valley Engineering Societies.   
Throughout her engineering career, she has promoted engineering through her involvement with science fairs, career days and presentations to grade school students.  Her active involvement in a variety of engineering organizations has provided many opportunities to give students a better understanding of engineering.

SWE Fellow Citation
1990 Delaware Valley Young Engineer of the Year Write Up
Philadelphia Section Newsletters
Press Release, February 2005, http://www.urbanengineers.com/hmtl/news_2005/feb2005-susanlbest.html

Ruth Carolyn White Buggy

Ruth Carolyn White Buggy, SWE Pioneer and Life Member, was an active member of the Philadelphia Section from when she transferred from the Washington, DC area in 1960 until failing health caused her to curtail her activities in the early 1990s.  Throughout the 1960s and 1970s she served in most Section offices, often for multiple terms.  She was also an active career guidance committee member, science fair judge, and high school career day speaker.  Carolyn was one of the two Section working delegates to the Engineering and Technical Societies Council (ETSCO) for most of 1964 through 1984.  Many times her husband, Rodman Buggy, sat in for her and SWE at the ETSCO meetings.  Carolyn established the Junior Engineering Technical Society (JETS) in the Delaware Valley; she and Rodman ran most of the program for about two decades.  She was named to the Philadelphia Section Hall of Fame in 1989.

Before coming to the Philadelphia area, she served as Society Vice President for in 1957-and as Washington Section Director.   
Carolyn originally intended to become a doctor and had studied medicine for three years before deciding that her interests lay elsewhere.  She graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1932 with a BA in Mathematics as an actuary, with secondary training in economics and physics.  She continued on at the school for a Masters degree in education and additional study in mathematics.  After teaching for several years in a one-room school house in southern Arizona, she joined the US Navy.  In October 1943 she was commissioned an Ensign in the Naval Reserve and assigned to the Navy’s Radar School at Harvard University and then to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  As a LT(jg) she taught at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard and helped to establish Electronic Shops at other naval shipyards.  She also served as Assistant Design Superintendent and Head of the Management Planning and Review Department at the Philadelphia facility.  The Navy recognized her exceptional expertise in electronics when she was designated the first woman Engineering Duty Officer.  Carolyn served in the Navy for 21 years and retired as a full Commander in 1963, at which time she was still the only woman Engineering Duty Officer the Navy ever had.  Carolyn’s advice to young women pursuing a career in engineering: “Don’t have a chip on your shoulder.” 

Ruth Carolyn White Buggy was born in Bisbee, Arizona on December 30, 1911 and died in Philadelphia on July 13, 1995.  She and Rodman had just celebrated their 37th wedding anniversary. 

Eulogy of Carolyn Buggy by Rodman Buggy
SWE Archives – Member Application
“Navy Names First Woman E.D.O.” BUSHIPS JOURNAL. June 1952: 22-23.
“In Memorium CDR Ruth Carolyn White Buggy.” THE OUTLOOK. September 1995.
Personal memories – Barbara C. Faust

Nance Dicciani

Dr. Nance K. Dicciani, SWE Achievement Award Winner and Life Member, has provided advice and counsel to SWE members and the Society over the years.  She has served as a speaker at conferences and as a member of national committees.  In 1987 she was the recipient of the Society’s highest honor, the SWE Achievement Award “For outstanding research management leading to the creation
of important new industrial products.”

Dr. Dicciani received her Bachelor of Chemical Engineering degree from Villanova University in 1969, her Masters from the University of
Virginia in 1970, her PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 1977, and her M.B.A, Business Management from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1986.

She began her career as a process engineer at Air Products in the Industrial Chemicals Division.  In her 14 years there she conducted research in the development of various commercial chemical manufacturing processes, such as the development of the polyurethane catalyst diazobicyclooctane, a new catalyst for the production of benzene from coke oven by-products, and a new process for the recovery of landfill gas. 
Later she joined Rohm and Haas and became Business Unit Director for the Petroleum Chemicals Division responsible for its world-wide operations including research and development, sales, marketing, and manufacturing.  More recently she joined Honeywell International, Inc. and has been President and Chief Executive Officer of Specialty Materials, a strategic business group in the company, since 2001. 
She received Villanova University’s Professional Achievement Award in 1986 and is listed in the Women of Influence in the Lehigh Valley.  In 2003 she was the Warren K. Lewis Lecturer in Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She was appointed by President George W. Bush to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) in 2006.  She has served on the Executive Committee of the American Chemistry Council and chaired the Board Research Committee, as a Vice President of the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI) and their Executive Committee, and is also a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and a registered Professional Engineer in Pennsylvania.  Dr. Nance K. Dicciani has been ranked by Forbes Magazine for the past two years as one of “The World’s Most Powerful

SWE Achievement Award Package
Nance K. Dicciani Profile – Forbes.com, Nance Dicciani, The Most Powerful Women – Forbes.com

Barbara Covolus Faust

Barbara Covolus Faust, SWE Fellow and Life Member has been an active member of the Philadelphia Section since June 1964 when she began work at the General Electric Company Missile and Space Division in King of Prussia, PA.  She had joined SWE in 1963 when she was a student at the Pennsylvania State University.  At the time she was assigned Member-at-Large (MAL) status because Penn State did not have a student section and there was no nearby professional section.  She went to her first SWE-Philadelphia event, a business meeting held at Doris McNulty’s house, and was nominated to be Vice President for 1964-1965.  Since then she has served multiple terms in most positions on the Executive Council, as Newsletter Editor, science fair judge, workshop presenter, SWE Counselor for the Lehigh and Drexel Student Sections, and Certificate of Merit Program Chair.  During the 1980s she also served on the National Ad Hoc Committee to Study SWE Regional Boundaries prior to regionalization, as New Section Coordinator, and on the Membership and Scholarship Committees.  Barb was named to the Philadelphia Section Hall of Fame in 1991 and elected to the SWE College of Fellows in 1994.

In 1972, Barbara arranged for the first SWE Behind -the-Scenes Tour of Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA held on November 11, 1972.  The Chief Engineer said it was the first time that such a tour had been requested and he took great pride in answering questions and pointing out details of the pumping and water distribution systems and how punched computer cards were used to control their spectacular water fountain displays.  He also led a private tour through the Conservatory, which was used by the Dupont family for entertaining guests, and the workings of the Conservatory Organ which is one of the largest in the world.

Barbara worked in the aerospace industry for General Electric-Martin Marietta-Lockheed Martin throughout her career.  She joined GE in 1964 as an engineer on the Space Technology Engineering Program (STEP), a program for new engineers that provided assignments in various groups within the Missile and Space Division and the opportunity to pursue an advanced degree at a local school.  She was the first woman to complete the program.  With the exception of about a year at the GE TEMPO nuclear data information and analysis center in Santa Barbara, CA, she worked in the King of Prussia facilities on various projects related to the evaluation and design of missile payloads.  For several years she and her husband Jerry worked together on many of the same programs.  She retired in 1998 as a Program Manager for Lockheed Martin and is currently a consultant for General Sciences, Inc. in Souderton, PA.

Barbara Covolus Faust was born and raised in eastern Pennsylvania.  In 1964 she became the first woman to graduate from the Pennsylvania State University College of Engineering with a BS in Engineering Science.  In 1967 she received an MS is Engineering Mechanics from the University of Pennsylvania Towne School.  At Penn State she was inducted into the Sigma Pi Sigma (Physics) and Pi Mu Epsilon (Mathematics) Honor Societies.  In addition to SWE, she has served as a volunteer for the Penn State College of Engineering, with several terms on the Industrial and Professional Advisory Council (IPAC) for the Engineering Science and Mechanics (ESM) Department, the Board of Directors for the Penn State Engineering Society (PSES), and currently on the ESM Alumni Advisory Board.  In 2006 she was named an ESM Centennial Fellow. 

SWE Fellow Citation
“Five from division participate in national SWE Conference.” SPACE SYSTEMS DIVISION THIS WEEK. 12 August 1983: 2-3.
Maguire, Bernadette. “RESD Engineer Honored”. THE REPORTER, a GE newsletter. 28 June 1991.
Personal records – Barbara C. Faust

Isabelle French

Isabelle French, SWE Pioneer, Past National President, Fellow, and Life Member, was an active member of the Philadelphia Section from the time she moved from the Boston Section in 1954 to take a position with Bell Telephone Laboratories in the Allentown area until she became a Charter Member of the Lehigh Valley Section in 1980.  While in the Philadelphia Section she served as National SWE President from 1964 to 1966 and in some office on the Executive Council for the Philadelphia Section during the “musical-chair” years of officers in the 1960s and 1970s.  She also served as national SWE Treasurer and Secretary.  Isabelle was an avid participant in all section activities and events.  She was elected to the SWE College of Fellows in 1981 and was named to the Philadelphia Section Hall of Fame in 1989.  
Isabelle often ran a car-pool service to take members and guests to local meetings and events.  She routinely brought new people along with her to meet other members and learn more about SWE.  Her mother, Associate SWE Member Grace French, was often one of the passengers.  Isabelle has attended almost all of the national SWE Conferences since 1951; in the evenings she could usually be found socializing in the “Over-the-Hill” suite.  She usually drove to the conference location, wherever it was, except for the 1988 Conference in Puerto Rico!   

Her two favorite hobbies were wood-working and collecting radio equipment.  She built most of her dream home in the Allentown area by herself, with some help from her 83-year old contractor father and a few of her friends.  At one time she also outfitted her van to hold two recliner chairs so that passengers could rest on some of the long cross-country road trips.  Many times she picked up and dropped off friends and packages at stops along the way.

In 1944, Isabelle F. French became the first woman to graduate with a degree in radio engineering from Tri-State College in Angola, IN; in 1967 the school awarded her an honorary doctorate.  She began her career in 1944 working on the engineering and development of radar tubes at Sylvania in the Boston, MA area and stayed there until 1952 when she went to Capehart-Farnsworth in Indiana for two years and then to Bell Telephone Laboratories in Allentown, PA, where she worked until she retired more than 40 years later.  In the mid-1990s Isabelle moved to Washington and is now living in Everett, WA.  She has been active in national and local SWE activities since joining the Society and has been a long-time member of the National Archives Committee.

SWE Archives – “The Woman Engineer in Our Changing World Speech at the University of Utah. 11 June 1966.
“Isabelle Builds Her Own Dream House.” THE REPORTER. September 1959: 13-15.
Philadelphia Section Newsletters
Personal memories – Isabelle F. French, Doris M. McNulty, Barbara C. Faust

A. W. Grosvenor

Alvah W. “Doc” Grosvenor, Jr., an Honorary member and a Professor in Mechanical Engineering at the Drexel Institute of Technology (now Drexel University), served as Faculty Advisor for the group of women engineering students who were meeting together in the mid-1940s and wanted to form a group that would be officially recognized on campus.  New groups were “on trial” for three years before they became a campus reality and be recognized for inclusion in the yearbook and listed with student groups.  Mr. Grosvenor worked with the women and championed their group throughout the three-year trial period and for several years afterward.  In remarks made on his behalf by his daughter at a SWE meeting on April 19, 1963, he recalled “that the initial members of the Drexel group, the nucleus from which grew the National Society of Women Engineers, were enthusiastic and hard working.  They were determined to prove themselves in a profession dominated by men.”

A.W. Grosvenor was born in Piqua, Ohio and graduated from Ohio University.  Before coming to Drexel’s Mechanical Engineering Department as an assistant professor in 1930, he worked as chief metallurgist for Laclede Steel Company in St. Louis, Mo.  He later became a full professor and headed the Metallurgical Department at its inception in 1947.  He is noted for setting the standard for high quality of education and research to be maintained by dedicated faculty.  He retired in 1965 and was awarded an honorary doctorate in engineering from Drexel University in 1977. 
“Doc” Grosvenor was editor and an author of the textbook BASIC METALLURGY.  He received distinguished teaching awards from Drexel and from the American Society of Metals in Cleveland.  After retiring from teaching at Drexel, he became a full-time consultant, serving as an expert witness across the country in lawsuits involving metal failures and product liability.  He was also a member of the Science and Arts Committee of the Franklin Institute for 20 years.  He was 90 when he died on April 7, 1990 at his home in the Dunwoody Village retirement community in Newtown Square, PA.

Tofani, Loretta. “A.W . Grosvenor Jr., 90, Ex-Professor at Drexel.” THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER.  9 April 1990.
“Remarks by A.W. Grosvenor – APRIL 19, 1963.” THE OUTLOOK. Summer 1963.
MSE news, http://www.materials.drexel.edu/news, February 01, 2009
Personal memories – Doris McNulty