Pioneering female engineer, Dorothée Pullinger, is to be recognised at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) Paisley Campus with a special commemorative plaque.

Dorothée, who trained as an apprentice engineer in Paisley before the First World War, is famous for the lasting impact she made on the engineering industry. Her ground-breaking work saw her design a car for women, built by women in the early 20th century.

Highlighting UWS’ commitment to STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) this commemorative plaque will honour Dorothée’s legacy, celebrate her Paisley connection and mark her considerable achievements in engineering and entrepreneurship.

Photo: (Left to Right) James McDonald, Yvette Le Couvey and Miya Le Couvey

Helping to choose the design of the memorial plaque were relatives of Dorothée who had travelled from their home in Guernsey to UWS’ Paisley Campus, a mile away from where she trained as an apprentice in 1909.

Yvette Le Couvey (Dorothee’s daughter), Miya Le Couvey (Dorothee’s granddaughter), and her husband James McDonald were also given the opportunity to meet the team of academics at UWS involved in the research into Dorothée’s legacy. Professor Katarzyna Kosmala, Tony Grace and Dr Evi Viza discussed the project led by Professor Kosmala of UWS’ School of Media, Culture and Society in collaboration with the School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Science. They also spoke about how engineering, alongside science, technology and maths plays a prominent role at the university today.

Professor Craig Mahoney, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, UWS said: “We were thrilled to host Dorothée Pullinger’s relatives Yvette, Miya and James at our Paisley Campus and we were pleased to be able to share our plans with them for our commemorative plaque. Dorothée’s legacy is known far and wide, and nowhere is it held more dearly than in Paisley.

“Dorothée was a trailblazer who followed her passions and forged a hugely successful career. Here at UWS we champion our students to chase their dreams, placing particular emphasis on removing barriers to subjects such as STEM so it was a real pleasure to be able to celebrate the achievements of this inspiring woman.”

Professor Katarzyna Kosmala, UWS’ School of Media, Culture and Society said: “Women in engineering have historically been very much in the minority and many of the reasons why go back a long way. In 1914, despite her obvious talents as an engineer, the Institution of Automobile Engineers refused to admit Dorothée in their articles of association. However, things were starting to shift with women engineers setting up the Women’s Engineering Society (WES), exactly one hundred years ago (23 June 1919) to encourage more women to pursue a career in engineering. I am delighted we will be unveiling a plaque to commemorate Dorothée’s legacy and her achievements on our campus to tie in with the centenary celebrations of WES.”

Photo: (Left to Right) Katatrzyna Kosmala, Dr Evi Visa , Dr Nina Baker, Yvette Le Couvey , James Mcdonald, Miya Le Couvey, Professor Carl Schaschk, Ilona Koscieja, Jo Macguire