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Hattie Scott Peterson

Hattie Scott Peterson American engineer

American engineer
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro American engineer
Was Engineer Civil engineer Scientist
From United States of America
Type Engineering Science
Gender female
Birth 1913, Norfolk, United States of America
Death 10 April 1993, Sacramento, United States of America (aged 80 years)
The details

Hattie T. Scott Peterson (1913–1993) is believed to be the first African-American woman to gain a bachelor's degree in civil engineering.


Hattie Scott was born in Norfolk, Virginia on October 11, 1913, to Hattie (Wilkinson) and Uzeil Scott. She married Donald Charles Peterson (1912-1978) in 1943.

In 1946, Peterson graduated from Howard University with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, and began working as a survey and cartographic engineer for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Sacramento, California in 1947.

She joined the local U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in 1954, where she was the first woman engineer and encouraged engineering as a profession for women.

Peterson was a member of the National Technical Association, the American Society of Photogrammetry, and the Unitarian Church. She died on April 10, 1993 in Sacramento. She and her husband left an endowment for scholarships at Howard University.


The Sacramento district of the USACE grants a Hattie Peterson Inspirational Award annually in her honor: "The purpose of the Hattie Peterson Award is to recognize the Sacramento District individual whose actions best exemplify the highest qualities of personal and professional perseverance through social challenges."

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