Society of Women Engineers

Alice Morgan Martin

Alice Morgan Martin


title Alice Morgan Martin -Alice joined SWE in 1954 and held many offices in the Los Angeles Section.  She was national SWE Treasurer in 1962-64 and Vice President 1964-66.

Born in Philadelphia, PA, she moved at an early age to Baltimore, MD, and received most of her early education in Maryland, where she majored in art and music.

Shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Alice was selected to become a member of the first group of women to be trained for the Drafting Department at Bendix Radio in Baltimore.  After learning the fundamentals of drafting, radio and shop work, she was assigned to the Systems Department and began evening courses in mechanical engineering.  Alice recalled that this thrilled her dad who was also a mechanical engineer and had tried in vain to interest at least one of his four sons to follow his profession.

Alice became the first woman engineer in Bendix Radio and was then assigned to an all-male group of draftsmen and engineers to design radio control units for commercial and military aircraft.  Within a few years, the manager of the West Coast Branch of Bendix Radio requested her transfer to California.  As Senior Field Engineer, Alice moved to the west coast to offer technical assistance to the sales engineers.  Her work included contact with customers such as Douglas, Lockheed, Convair and Boeing aircraft companies and the major foreign and domestic airlines as well as liaison between the branch office in California and the main plant on the east coast.

When Bendix discontinued manufacture of radio control panels, Alice utilized her knowledge of aircraft radio and her customer contacts to start her own electronics company which specialized in the design and manufacture of cockpit control units for remotely controlling radio equipment.  After three years of successful operation, Alice sold her organization and returned to work with Bendix, this time with the Pacific Division in California.  As design engineer in Sonar Engineering and Military Navigation she performed increasingly important duties and assumed supervisory responsibilities.  A subsequent position with Lockheed as design engineer on the Polaris missile was followed by employment with Douglas Missiles & Space Systems where she did design work on the Saturn project.