Lesley Scott Souter
Who am I?
Lesley Scott Souter was the first female electrical engineering student at the University of Glasgow. Born in Elgin, Lesley came from a family of engineers - whose home was called The Foundry. When she went to the University of Glasgow in 1936 she was following her father’s profession. Taking her practical classes at the Royal Technical College (now the University of Strathclyde) she graduated in 1940 with the first BSc Honours 1st class to be granted to a woman. She was an active member of the Women’s Engineering Society, joining its council in 1942 and in 1960 travelling on one of its scholarships to study the opportunities for women engineers in the USSR. In retirement she was elected as a Conservative councillor for Rugby Borough Council in 1976, her service being commemorated by the naming of Lesley Souter House, Whitehall Road, Rugby.
© Nina Baker
I am monumental because...
Having done vacation work with her father’s electrical firm and also with the GEC research laboratories working on heating, cooking and circuits for fluorescent lamps, she was able to get a job with them, working on gas discharge stabilisers and gas-filled triodes. From 1944 to 1949 she worked on electro-medical equipment, then joined GEC’s solid state physics group working on semi-conductors. In 1951 she was promoted toTeam leader, working on properties of germanium for radar and TV. In 1955 she moved to Mullard Research Laboratories at Redhill, Surrey and in 1968 to the Associated Electrical Industries, Research Lab in Rugby, Warwickshire. She worked at Siemens Research Laboratories , moving to Harlow, then on to Rugby with AEI. On the closing of AEI, Rugby, she started her own consultancy practice. She held a patent from her work on resistors at GEC. © Nina Baker