13 January: Google Doodle Celebrates Enedina Alves Marques

OV Digital Desk

Image Courtesy: Google Doodle

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the 110th birthday of Brazilian engineer Enedina Alves Marques, the first Black woman to receive an engineering degree in Brazil and the first woman to become an engineer in Paraná.

Who was Enedina Alves Marques

Enedina Alves Marques (13 January 1913 – 20 August 1981) was a Brazilian engineer and teacher who worked for the Department of Water and Energy of Paraná State. After graduating from the Federal University of Paraná in 1945 with a degree in civil engineering, she became the first black woman in Brazil and the first woman in Paraná State to receive an engineering degree.

Marques was born in Curitiba, Brazil, on 13 January 1913. She worked as a domestic worker and nanny to pay for her secondary education and became a teacher after graduation. However, she had her sights set higher on attending university. Upon passing the qualification examinations, she enrolled in civil engineering classes at the Federal University of Paraná in 1940. Considering it was only fifty years after the abolition of slavery and nine years since women were granted the right to vote, Marquez was antagonized and ignored by some of her teachers and peers. Despite facing discrimination while getting a degree in a White, male-dominated field, Marques persisted and was the only woman alongside 32 male students to graduate in 1945.

Brazilian Army Day

After working for the State Department of Transportation and Public Works as an engineering assistant, she transferred to the State Department of Water and Electric Energy in Paraná. As a result of her work here, she contributed to a number of significant projects, such as the development of the Paraná Hydroelectric Plan for several rivers in the area, as well as the topographic survey and construction of the biggest underground hydroelectric plant in the world, the Capivari-Cachoeira Plant.

At the age of 68, Marques passed away following a heart attack at her longtime home in the Lido Building in downtown Curitiba. It took at least a week for her body to be found because she had never married and had no immediate family.

Award and Legacy of Enedina Alves Marques

With 53 other pioneering Brazilian women, her name was inscribed on the Memorial à Mulher (Memorial to the Woman) in recognition of her contributions to Paraná and the engineering field. In honor of her, a street in Curitiba was named Rua Engenheira Enedina Alves Marques. The Enedina Alves Marques Institute of Black Women was founded in Maringá, Paraná, in 2006.

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