Betty Lou Bailey graduated from the University of Illinois in 1950 with a degree from the Mechanical Science and Engineering Department. She graduated in the top three percent of her class of 700, and was the only female in the class. During her career, Betty Lou worked as a registered professional engineer in Ohio and New York, and was also active in technical organizations including the National Society of Professional Engineers, the Engineering Joint Council, and the American Society of Engineering Education. She was the first female member in the Engineering Society of Cincinnati, an organization that focused on mentoring high school students. In 1988, the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University named her a distinguished alumna. She was the only woman to receive this award during its first 45 years of existence.
Women featured in our weekly series are part of the 150 for 150 website Celebrating the Accomplishments of Women at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The website was created by the Gender Equity Council and the University Library to highlight women who have made significant achievements during their time at the University either as students, staff, faculty, or alumni.