First female student of the Royal Technical Academy of Berlin's and first female engineer in Europe was Eliza Leonida Zamfirescu, a Romanian young lady, daughter of intellectuals Leonida Anastase and Matilda Gill, and scientist Dimitrie Leonida’ sister.
She was born on 10 November 1887 in Galati, where she attended primary school. Her family moved to Bucharest, the young woman attending the lectures of the Central School for Girls. In 1909, she left for Berlin and she enrolled at the Royal Technical Academy of Berlin, Charlottemburg.
The media in Romania recorded the event at the time as an extraordinary one: "A compatriot of ours, Miss Elisa Leonida, instead of studying Letters or Medicine, or worse, the Law, studied engineering at Charlottemburg. ("Minerva" Newspaper, 1912).
She returned to the country and undertook a job as an assistant at the Geological Institute of Bucharest. During the war she was a member of the Red Cross, services.
She continued her research after the war. She paid special attention to drinking water analyzes and analyzes of various minerals: oil, gas, coal, bituminoide solid, construction stones and ores’ preparation. She died on 25 November 1973 in Bucharest.
She was the first female member of A.G.I.R. (General Association of Engineers in Romania) and member of the International Association of University Women. Since 1993 a street in District 1 capital bears her name, and since 1997 The Eliza Leonida-Zamfirescu Award was established, on the initiative of the National Confederation of Women in Romania.
Bibliography: Elisa Leonida Zamfirescu – First female engineer in the world, Enciclopedia personalităților feminine din Romania
Translated and arranged after a report by Madalina Corina Diaconu