Eliza Leonida Zamfirescu (1887-1973) was one of the Europe’s first female engineers.
She was also the first Romanian member of the International Federation of University Women (IFUW) and the first female member of the General Association of the Romanian Engineers (AGIR).
photo: wikipedia, mirror.co.uk
She was born in Galati (Bucharest) in a family with eleven children, all very intelligent people. She was the sister of the Romanian sculptor Gheorghe Leonida, that also sculptured face of the Christ the Redeemer (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). Her sister, Adela Leonida was the oftalmolog doctor who performed cataract surgery for Queen Mary of Romania. Another brother, Dimitrie Leonida, founded the Technical Museum in Bucharest that has now his name.
After finishing high school in Bucharest she was rejected from the University because she was a woman. Being confident that she has to be an engineer, she went to Germany where she was the first female student of the Royal Technical Academy Berlin, 1909. There it was also hard to overcome the idea of what a woman could be only “the three K (Kieche, Kinder, Kuche)”.
She married an engineer Constantin Zamfirescu, the brother of the Romanian writer Duiliu Zamfirescu and Queen Mary of Romania attended their wedding.
The little but very beautiful street where she lived has now her name, Intrarea Eliza Leonida Zamfirescu (Bucharest).