During World War II, the Curtiss-Wright Corporation sponsored a course for women engineering students at several American universities, including
Iowa State University. The course consisted of work in engineering methods, engineering mechanics, drafting and processing, and once completed, the
cadettes received an engineering certificate.


Sample Program:

  • Engineering Mathematics: Logarithms, Slide Rule, Trigonometry, Algebra

  • Job Terminology and Specifications: Airplanes, Aeronautical Industrial Organization

  • Elements of Aircraft Drawing and Standards: 

  • Elementary Engineering Mechanics: Statics and Dynamics

  • Properties and Processing of Aircraft Materials: Shop, Lecture

On the blackboard is the organization for a laboratory period.  The cut and formed parts are on the table for inspection prior to assembling.

The graduation dinner was held 14 December 1943 at 7:00 p.m. Included were selections such as White Christmas, sung by the Cadette Sextant, and an Address by ISU President Charles E. Friley, and the presentation of certificates, and a showing of the film, "Curtiss-Wright Engineering Cadette Training at Iowa State College.

There were approximately 90 graduates from the various states, including Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, New York, Ohio, and  Oklahoma.

Sample Review Problem

Mechanics of Materials
Course B-4

32D0-2. A 50 inch diameter boiler is made of steel plate 1/2 inch in thickness,  The boiler is subjected to an internal pressure of 110 p.s.i. the longitudinal seam is a double riveted butt joint with a single 9/16 inch spice plate.  The outside rows of rivets have a pitch of 6 inches and the inner rows a pitch of 3 inches.  The rivets are 7/8 inches in diameter.  Determine the average shearing and bearing unit stresses, and also the average tensile unit stresses at both net sections of the main plate.

The Special Collections Department also possesses a videotape concerning the Curtiss-Wright Cadettes.  If you would like to view it, please come to the Department (403 Parks Library) and request VH-0255.  Our hours are 8-11:50 a.m. and 1-5 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Introduction / List / ISU HistoryResources / Bibliography

Twentieth Century Women of Iowa State University
Comments: archives@iastate.edu
URL: http://historicexhibits.lib.iastate.edu/20thWomen/revisedSept2005/20thcenturywomen.html