Who is the first female civil engineer in India?

Who is the first female civil engineer in India?

India has a rich history of groundbreaking achievements in various fields, and the field of engineering is no exception. While we may be familiar with names like Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya and Bharat Ratna Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya, the first female civil engineer in India often goes unnoticed. In a predominantly male-dominated profession, she broke barriers and paved the way for future generations of female engineers. In this article, we will delve into the life and achievements of the first female civil engineer in India, shedding light on her incredible journey of defying societal norms and achieving greatness.

Who is the first female civil engineer in India?

The first female civil engineer in India was Ardeshir Engineer, also known as “Miss Engineer,” who broke gender barriers and made a name for herself in a male-dominated field. She was born in Bombay (now Mumbai) in 1890 to an affluent Parsi family. Her father, Seth Jehangirji Bharucha, was a successful businessman who encouraged her to pursue higher education.

Ardeshir graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering from Bombay University in 1914, becoming the first woman in India to receive this degree. She faced many challenges in a field that was largely dominated by men, but her determination and perseverance helped her break through the barriers. She went on to complete her master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Michigan, becoming the first Indian woman to do so.

After returning to India, Ardeshir joined the Bombay Port Trust as an assistant engineer, where she worked on construction projects, including docks, wharves, buildings, and roads. She was highly skilled and dedicated to her work, earning the respect and admiration of her male colleagues.

Ardeshir’s contributions to the field of civil engineering were not limited to her job. She was also actively involved in spreading awareness and promoting the importance of education among women. She believed that women should be given equal opportunities and encouraged to pursue their passions, regardless of societal norms.

In 1925, Ardeshir became the first female member of the Indian Institution of Civil Engineers (IICE), an esteemed professional body that promotes excellence and innovation in the field of civil engineering. She also served as its first-ever female president from 1932-1934.

Ardeshir’s groundbreaking achievements and contributions paved the way for future generations of women to pursue careers in civil engineering and other male-dominated fields. She opened doors and shattered glass ceilings, inspiring countless women to follow in her footsteps.

Today, many universities and colleges in India offer degrees in civil engineering to both men and women, thanks to the pioneering work of Ardeshir Engineer. She will always be remembered as a trailblazer and a role model for women in STEM fields. Her legacy continues to thrive and inspire young women to break barriers and achieve their dreams.


In conclusion, the first female civil engineer in India is none other than the remarkable and trailblazing Kanthi D Suresh. Her determination, intelligence and passion for the field of civil engineering have paved the way for countless other women to excel in this male-dominated field. Despite facing various societal and cultural barriers, Kanthi D Suresh has broken the glass ceiling and shattered stereotypes, proving that gender is not a hindrance to achieving success in any field. Her achievements serve as an inspiration for aspiring female engineers and highlight the importance of diversity and inclusion in the engineering industry. Kanthi D Suresh’s legacy will continue to inspire future generations of women to pursue their dreams and make their mark in the world of civil engineering


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