Margaret Hutchinson Rousseau

Deceased Person

Margaret Hutchinson Rousseau (1911 - 11 January 2000) was a chemical engineer who designed the first commercial penicillin production plant. She was also the first female member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Margaret Hutchinson was born in 1911 in Houston, Texas, the daughter of a clothing store owner, and married William C. Rousseau (a co-worker, who was later a chemical engineering lecturer at MIT). They had one son. She received her BS from Rice Institute in 1932 and her Sc.D in chemical engineering from MIT in 1937, the first woman to earn a doctorate in the subject in the USA. She died 12 January 2000 at her home in Weston, Massachusetts. She started her professional career with E. B. Badger (where she met her husband to be) and during the Second World War she oversaw the design of production plants for the stragically important materials of penicillin and synthetic rubber. She also worked on the development of high-octane gasoline for aviation fuel. Her later work included improved distillation column design and plants for the production of ethylene glycol and glacial acetic acid. In 1955 she received the Achievement Award of the Society of Women  ( Wikipedia article )


Personal facts

Date of birth


Institution From To
Rice University


Date of death

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