Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Independent researcher
Website URL
Women Engineers,women civil engineers, munition workers, women aeronautical engineers, ballistics, women in military technical roles, women electrical engineers, women mechanical engineers, women marine engineers, women in manual trades, construction history
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Dr Nina Baker has had a varied career, largely in traditionally male-majority occupations, startiing as a merchant navy deck officer on leaving school in 1972. She sailed in oil tankers and cargo ships and gained her Certificate of Competency as a First Mate of a Foreigh-going Vessel.

She returned to education in her 30s, to get an engineering design degree from the University of Warwick, and then earned a PhD in concrete durability from the University of Liverpool. She has lived with her family in Glasgow since 1989, working variously as a materials lecturer in further education and as a university engineering research administrator and, 2007-2017, as an elected city councillor on behalf of the Scottish Green Party.

Since about 2000 Nina has had an interest in the history of women in engineering and is now a full time independent researcher on this and also other aspects of engineering and construction history. Apart from their intrinsic interest and the desirability of ensuring that these previously hidden stories reach the daylight, her purpose is also to increase the general public’s concept of who is an engineer, thereby normalising what (incredibly for the 21st century) remains a career choice often regarded as unusual for girls. Her current research is looking at women engineers in 20th century government research establishments, and the experimental ballistic work by the women in the Army.

Examples of her work:

Engineer of the week profiles:—the-full-list.html

Her book on aeronautical engineer, Hilda Lyon:


Recent Publications

Glasgow city chambers: The construction and building services history of a major municipal building from the Victorian period. Baker, N. Building Knowledge, Constructing Histories – Wouters, Van de Voorde, Bertels et al. (Eds). 2018 6th International Congress of Construction History, Brussels, Belgium, ISBN 978-1-138-33230-0

Development of the UK Government’s support for Construction-related Research in the 20th Century: the role of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research. Nina Baker. In J.W.P. Campbell et al (Eds), Proceedings of the Eighth Conference of the Construction History Society, Cambridge, 27-28 August 2021, pp 379-389

True Grit: women in quarrying in 1930s England and 1880s Scotland. Baker, N. 2017. The Construction Historian, 2017, 2, 7-9.

The Untold Stories of Some Amazing Women in Computing : Smoothing the Curves: Dr Winifred Hackett, the DEUCE and passing the baton from Alexander Graham Bell to Academic Computing. N. Baker and C. Marsh. 2019 6th IEEE History of Electrotechnology Conference (HISTELCON), 2019, pp. 61-64, doi: 10.1109/HISTELCON47851.2019.9040024.

Adventures in aeronautical design: the life of Hilda M. Lyon. N. Baker. Crampton-Moorhouse Publishing. 2020. ISBN 9798650270584.

Tin hats, white skirts and slide rules: the experimental gunnery work of ATS women in World War 2. Baker, N. 2020. Journal of the Royal Artillery, vol 149 no 1, Autum 2020.

Mirrors and Slide Rules, White Skirts and Wellie Boots: When ATS/WRAC women went ballistic. WRAC magazine Lioness in 2021.

10 Amazing Women in Aeronautical Engineering We Should be Shouting About. Nina Baker. March 2021. Hushkit blog.

Women engineers in UK construction research establishments in the mid-20th century. A preliminary survey. Nina Baker. In Proceedings of the Eighth Conference of the Construction History Society, Cambridge, 27-28 August 2021, pp 415-424.

The Dalry Connection to the Arrol Johnston. Nina Baker. Garnock Connections. 2021.

Finding Doris Lehrian. Nina baker. Herstory Club. August 2021.

More Than Pioneers—How Women Became Professional Engineers Before the Mid-Twentieth Century. Nina Baker (2022). Pages 573-591. In The Palgrave Handbook of Women and Science since 1660. Editors: Claire G. JonesAlison E. MartinAlexis Wolf.

The allure of the ceramic airship. N. Baker. FASTA Journal, No.62, Autumn 2020.

Airways – a delightful children’s book about the R37. Nina Baker. Dirigible, No.91, Autumn 2020.

Beneath the Radar: An illustrated account of an ordinary radar operator’s life in RAF Radar Stations 1942-6. Paperback – 24 Oct. 2021. Nina Baker. Crampton-Moorhouse Publications via Amazon.

From tissue paper screens to radar screens: some episodes in the development of ballistic testing methods, N. C. Baker (2021) The International Journal for the History of Engineering & Technology, 91:1, 49-63, DOI: 10.1080/17581206.2021.1968285

About balloon making. With an expert’s opinion on aerial navigation”. Nina Baker. Tailrope, no124, Autumn 2021.

MV Dame Caroline Haslett – collier and cable ship. Nina Baker. The Woman Engineer, vol22 no.14, Spring 2022. Women’s Engineering Society.

My talks on Youtube:

Media Coverage
Country Focus
United Kingdom
Expertise by Geography
British Isles, England, United Kingdom
Expertise by Chronology
18th century, 19th century, 20th century, 21st century
Expertise by Topic
Economic History, Gender, Military, Science, Technology, Urban History, Women, World War I, World War II