November 8, 1881 Aviation pioneer and spaceflight theorist Robert Esnault-Pelterie was born in Paris, France. With a strong background in engineering, he made major contributions to the origins of heavier-than-air flight in Europe during the first decade of the 20th century. In 1903, Esnault-Pelterie invented the aileron -- a movable airfoil that could be installed at the... Continue Reading →

A member of the Diné (Navajo) tribe, Aaron Yazzie was born in 1986 in Tuba City, Arizona. This town is part of the Navajo Nation, a Native American territory covering about 27,413 square miles (70,999.3 square kilometers) altogether in sections of northeastern Arizona; southeastern Utah; and northwestern New Mexico. Yazzie grew up in the city... Continue Reading →

In the time since she began working for Lockheed Martin Corporation as a senior systems engineer in 2006, Vanessa Aponte Williams has been significantly involved in that company’s initiatives on behalf of human spaceflight. As Lockheed Martin’s senior manager for ascent element mission operations, for example, she oversees the development of integrated systems to help... Continue Reading →

June 8, 1724 Engineer and physicist John Smeaton, who is widely regarded as the “Father of Civil Engineering,” was born in the English civil parish of Austhorpe. During his prolific career, Smeaton designed numerous lighthouses, bridges, canals, and harbors.  One of Smeaton’s more notable achievements was a lighthouse that became known as Smeaton’s Tower. This 72-foot... Continue Reading →

May 25, 1878 U.S. Army officer and civil engineer Frederick Mears, whose legacy includes notable large-scale transportation infrastructure projects in various regions of the world, was born in Omaha, Nebraska. Mears enlisted in the Army in 1899. He was assigned the following year to the Philippines, where he handled several engineering assignments. Mears left the Philippines... Continue Reading →

March 8, 1887 James Buchanan Eads, an internationally renowned inventor and civil engineer, died at the age of 66 while vacationing in the Bahamas. Eads had been born in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, in 1820. He was named after his mother’s cousin James Buchanan, who was a U.S. congressman at the time and would go on to... Continue Reading →

Throughout America’s history, women have made substantial contributions in transportation through innovation and unwavering leadership. This AASHTO video highlights some of those trailblazers whose contributions in the field of transportation have helped to pave the way for generations to come: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKrZ1ADNqYE

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