May 15, 2007
Sheila E. Widnall, Ph.D.
Sheila Widnall is the former Secretary of the Air Force (1993-1997) and the only woman to head a military service. A few of her other roles include astrophysicist, master pilot, aeronautical genius, educator, writer, wife, and mother. She has been honored by Women in Aviation, as well as being inducted into the Pioneer Hall of Fame. Some of her other awards include Lawrence Sperry Award and the Durand Lectureship from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Society of Women Engineers, and the National Academy of Engineering’s (NAE) Distinguished Service Award. She was also the first woman to head a department at the Massachusettes Institute of Technology (MIT). Sheila is no stranger to being the first to do many things. I really repect her for her hard work and the fact that she was never phased a bit by being such a trailblazer. Way to go Sheila!