Beatrice Alice Hicks


Beatrice Alice HicksWhen Bea was elected President of SWE, she was Vice President and Chief Engineer of Newark Controls, her own company. Bea pioneered in designing, developing, and manufacturing pressure and gas density control for aircraft and missiles. Of particular interest is her invention of the gas density switch, a key component in systems using artificial atmospheres.

In 1963 Bea was the recipient of SWE’s Achievement Award.

Bea’s husband, Rodney D. Chipp, a prominent engineer, was a valued friend of SWE. The Rodney D. Chipp Memorial Award was established in memory of his efforts with and help to SWE.


  • B.S. in Ch.E., 1939, New Jersey Institute of Technology
  • M.S. in Physics, 1949, Stevens Institute of Technology
  • Sc.D., 1958, Hobart and William Smith Colleges
  • D.Eng., 1965, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (the first such degree presented to a woman by RPI)
  • P.E. in PA, DC, NJ, NY