Pioneer Canadian rocket scientist dead at age 88
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks with Yvonne C. Brill after awarding her a National Medal of Technology and Innovation in the East Room of the White House in Washington October 21, 2011. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
A Canadian-born rocket scientist whose innovations are still being used today has died.
Yvonne Brill (nee Claeys) died Wednesday in Princeton, N.Y., from complications due to breast cancer. She was 88.
The Winnipeg native, who was once denied entry into the University of Manitoba's engineering faculty due to lack of accommodations for females, went on to enjoy a brilliant career and is believed to have been the only woman in the U.S. actually working on rocket science in the mid-1940s.
Brill invented a propulsion system to help keep communications satellites from slipping out of their orbits. It was launched in 1983 and is still being used today. She was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2010.
Brill, who also spent time with NASA and the International Maritime Satellite Organization, was awarded the AIAA Wyld Award, the AAES John Fritz Medal and the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal in 2001.
She is survived by two sons and a daughter.