Romilda Gagliardi, the first woman engineer specialised in Aeronautics at the Politecnico di Torino

Romilda Gagliardi left her mark on the world of engineering and aeronautics as the first woman to specialise in the field.

In a world traditionally dominated by men, her career opened up new avenues for women in the fields of aerodynamics and aeronautical engineering.

Romilda Gagliardi enrolled at the Politecnico di Torino in 1908, showing an interest in aeronautical design from a young age. While still a student, she began working with Società Anonima Costruzioni Aeronautiche Ing. Ottorino Pomilio & Co., contributing to the design of reconnaissance aircraft for the Italian Air Force.

The highlight of her studies came in 1925, when she graduated under professor Modesto Panetti with a thesis entitled “Aerodynamic study of the Dewoitine A. C2″. This success marked the start of a brilliant career.

After graduating, Romilda joined the Ottorino Pomilio Company as Head of the Engineering Department, becoming a key figure in the design and development of military aircraft. Her expertise was such that she held key roles as controller of technical drawings, contributing to the fine-tuning of aircraft used during the Great War.

In 1957 Romilda Gagliardi served as National Secretary of the Association of Aeronautical Sciences, displaying a constant commitment to the promotion and development of research in this field.

Her contribution to the field of aeronautics was so significant that in 1966, she was received by President of the Italian Republic Giuseppe Saragat at one of the Association’s events.

Romilda Gagliardi is not only a symbol of expertise and determination; she set a fundamental precedent in overcoming gender stereotypes.

Her boldness and talent paved the way for many other women, helping to break down the barriers of horizontal segregation and proving that women can excel in any field, even in sectors historically dominated by men.