"Her contribution to Canadian and international design and engineering, her high honours, her resolve that led her to the top of her profession, have been of outstanding benefit to Canadian aviation.”
Elizabeth Muriel Gregory “Elsie” MacGill received her elementary and secondary education in Vancouver and then attended the University of Toronto. She was the first woman to graduate from that university with an Electrical Engineering Degree in 1927 and later attended Michigan University where she became the first woman to get her Masters Degree in Aeronautical Engineering from that university. During her career MacGill worked in aeronautical design and wrote numerous articles on aviation. In 1938 she became Chief Aeronautical Engineer at Fort William (Thunder Bay) and later established her own business as an aeronautical consultant.
During the Second World War, MacGill was responsible for mass production of military aircraft at the Fort William plant and was also in charge of the engineering work related to the Canadian production of the Hawker Hurricane. In 1946 she became the first woman to serve as Canadian Technical Advisor to the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization, where she helped draft the international air worthiness regulation for the design and production of commercial aircraft.
Born: 27 Mar 1905, Vancouver, BC
Died: 4 Nov 1980