FIRST FEMALE TO RECEIVE MASTER OF SCIENCE DEGREE IN ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING AT IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY
Major and graduation year: Electrical Engineering, BS ’76; MS ’77
Location: Roseville, Minnesota
An electrical engineering first: Glynis (Fluhr) Hinschberger was the first female to graduate from Iowa State University with a master’s degree in electrical engineering. She originally became interested in the field because her dad was an electrical engineer. “I didn’t go to graduate school to be the only woman. I went because there was more I wanted to learn,” she says.
Challenging the status quo: Hinschberger says she was accustomed to being the only woman in her classes by the time she reached graduate school. “It taught me some valuable life lessons in a relatively safe environment. I learned that it is possible to do the impossible, or what others might think is impossible. I learned to challenge the status quo, and I’m not afraid to be different. I also learned how to deal with and work in uncomfortable situations. It shouldn’t matter who you are, you should have the opportunity to prove yourself.”
Extracurricular activities: While at Iowa State, Hinschberger began her involvement with the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). She was part of the small group of women who reactivated the SWE student section charter in 1973, and she served as student section president. She also was active in the IEEE student chapter and served as its president. Hinschberger now is a lifetime fellow of SWE and a senior member of IEEE. “These days I’m more involved in activities and organizations related to my kids than in my professional organizations,” she says.
Career perks: Hinschberger’s proudest career achievements include being a co-project manager of the first wind power project in Minnesota and building Seren Innovations from the ground up. Currently, she is doing transmission-planning work. This involves less analysis and more project oversight and technical writing and editing of projects in progress. “I prefer that to running power flow and stability because I get to take the raw analysis and turn it into final form,” she says. “What I enjoy most about my work is schedule flexibility, the ability to work part-time and from home, and being able to use my writing and communication skills I’ve honed over the years.”