Meet Louisa Simmons, SRP’s first female engineer

Celebrating Women’s History Month by highlighting a trailblazing woman in SRP’s more than 100-year history.

Louisa Simmons Cook, SRP's first female engineer. Photo courtesy of SRP Research Archives & Heritage
Louisa Simmons, SRP’s first female engineer. Photo courtesy of SRP Research Archives & Heritage.

In 1947, SRP hit a milestone by employing the first woman in the Engineering Department, Louisa Simmons. Simmons conducted statistical and planning work for SRP and was the only woman at SRP with a degree in electrical engineering at the time. While in the Engineering Department, Simmons worked with F.L. Roe to co-publish a paper titled “Local Conditions Affecting Loading Standard 55°C Transformers,” which was also presented at a convention put on by the American Institute of Electrical Engineers.

Leaving SRP in 1955 to raise her children, Simmons returned to SRP as Louisa Cook in 1962 and worked in the System Planning Division of District Engineering.

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Chelsea is a Historical Analyst with SRP’s Research Archives. Born and raised in Mesa, Chelsea completed her undergraduate degree in Cultural Anthropology at Brigham Young University and her Master’s Degree in Museum Studies at ASU. Chelsea is responsible for caring for and managing SRP’s physical and digital historic collections that record the history of the Salt River Project.

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