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Willie Hobbs Moore

The first African American woman at Michigan to earn a BS and MS in Electrical Engineering ('58 and '61).
Willie Hobbs Moore Enlarge
Willie Hobbs Moore.

Willie Hobbs Moore (1934–1994) made history as the first African American woman at Michigan to earn a BS and MS in Electrical Engineering (’58 and ’61). She then followed up on this record as the first African American woman in the country to earn a PhD in physics. She worked as a research scientist at U-M until 1977, researching spectroscopic work on proteins. In 1977, she became an assembly engineer at Ford, where she expanded Ford’s use of Japanese engineering and manufacturing methods. She was name one of the 100 “most promising black women in corporate America” by Ebony magazine in 1991.

The University of Michigan established the Willie Hobbs Moore: Aspire, Advance, Achieve Award to recognize individuals who have served as formal or informal mentors to students in fields related to Science, Technology, and Engineering. It is sponsored by the Center for Engineering Diversity & Outreach and Women in Science & Engineering.

In 2018, Electrical and Computer Engineering established the ECE Willie Hobbs Moore Alumni Lectureship. The lectureship was established to recognize ECE alumni from traditionally underrepresented groups who are leaders in their field and serve as role models for the ECE community through their leadership, impact on society, service to the community, or other contributions.

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Alumni News; Diversity and Outreach; Division News; History