Society of Women Engineers

Lydia Pickup

Lydia Pickup


title Lydia Pickup -Lydia joined SWE in 1955 at the time that the Pacific Northwest Section was being formed at the instigation of Jo Troxell. In 1962 she was transferred to New Orleans and then Huntsville, AL, by The Boeing Company and was thus transferred to MAL by SWE. In the fall of 1968, she was transferred back to Seattle, and rejoined the Pacific Northwest Section.

Lydia lived in Huntsville when she was elected President of SWE, being elected from Members-at-Large. She had served 10 years at the national level as committee chairman and officer prior to being elected President. She chaired the 1962 SWE Convention in Seattle, which was the first four-day convention and the first one to end up in the black, financially. During her term as President, she made a concerted effort to visit the Student Sections to see what help national or the local Section could be to them — fascinating experience!

She participated in the first nine International Conferences of Women Engineers and Scientists, having to miss the tenth one in Budapest due to health problems.

Lydia served in the U. S. Naval Reserve on active duty during World War II and during Korea and in the drilling reserve between those two and following Korea until she retired with 20+ years in 1964. As a result of that service, she was a 53-year member of The American Legion and a 17-year member of the Fleet Reserve Association, with the majority of her activity in The American Legion serving local Post, district, and state in a variety of offices. She was also active in the Women in Military Service for America memorial which is now built at the main entrance to the Arlington Cemetery.

Lydia was active in the National Association of Parliamentarians (NAP), with a local study unit and with the Washington State Association of Parliamentarians.  For many years Lydia was Parliamentarian for SWE.

She joined The Boeing Company in 1952 following her active duty during Korea and worked there 35 years, rising from Junior Engineer to Principal Engineer. She spent five years designing system trainers for the 707 airplane, then to the Bomarc missile program, the space program in the Southeast, back to another missile program, and then to the avionics for the B-1 bomber, with most of the last three in configuration management.

  • 4 years in EE, University of Washington (Madison)