**Edith Clarke: The Electrical Engineer Who Developed the Clarke Transformation and Contributed to the Development of Electric Power Transmission Systems**

**Edith Clarke (1883-1959) was a pioneering American electrical engineer who was the first female professor of electrical engineering in the United States, and the first woman to receive a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She was also a passionate advocate for women engineers and an inventor who created the Clarke Transformation and made major contributions to the development of electric power transmission systems. Her groundbreaking work in a field that was largely dominated by men has made her an icon and inspiration for generations of future engineers.**

**Biography of Edith Clarke**

Edith Clarke was born in Howard County, Maryland on February 10, 1883, the daughter of an educated African-American farmer. As a child she attended the public schools of Howard County, and the high school in Baltimore, Maryland. Later she attended the Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY, where she earned a B.A. degree in 1908 and a M.A. degree in 1910. In 1919, Clarke became the first woman to receive a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Clarke taught mathematics and physics at Radcliffe College from 1912 to 1916, and then at the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) in Pittsburgh, PA, from 1917 to 1918. In 1918 and 1919, Clarke worked as a research assistant at MIT, and in 1924 she joined the General Electric Company (GE) in Schenectady, NY, as a “computer”, a job which involved solving complex mathematical problems. At GE she became the first female electrical engineer in the United States.

In 1937, Clarke accepted a position teaching mathematics and electrical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. From 1940 to 1945, she served as the first female professor of electrical engineering at UT Austin. There, she taught classes on power and circuit analysis, and she held annual demonstrations of laboratory experiments to show the students the practical applications of her subjects.

In 1948, Clarke was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Radio Engineers (I.R.E., later the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, or IEEE). She was also the first woman to be made a Life Member of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE).

Clarke’s greatest contribution to the engineering profession was the development of the Clarke Transformation, a technique for simplifying complicated electric power equations. The Clarke Transformation enabled electric engineers to quickly analyze and design power systems in ways that had previously been difficult and time consuming.

**Development of the Clarke Transformation**

The Clarke Transformation, developed by Edith Clarke in 1922, revolutionized electrical engineering by greatly reducing the time needed to decouple equations. The transformation enabled engineers to understand, calculate, and design electric power systems quickly and accurately.

Prior to the development of the Clarke Transformation, electric engineers relied on the method of solution by substitution to solve equations associated with power system analysis. This process was laborious and time consuming, and Edith Clarke saw the need for an easier, quicker solution to the problem.

To solve the problem, Edith Clarke examined the Z-Y-X representation of a power system and devised a simpler algebraic equation that would enable electric engineers to decouple equations associated with power system analysis quickly and accurately.

The Clarke Transformation, which Edith unveiled in her 1922 technical paper “Arithmetic Transform of Electric Circuit Coordinates”, is a set of simple algebraic equations that are used to solve equations associated with power system analysis. The equations reduce the computation time of decoupling equations from hours to only a few minutes.

**The Impact of Edith Clarke’s Work**

Edith Clarke’s work revolutionized electrical power engineering by streamlining the process of decoupling equations associated with power system analysis. The Clarke Transformation enabled electric engineers to calculate and design power systems quickly and accurately, leading to greater efficiencies in engineering, construction, and maintenance of electrical power systems.

Edith Clarke’s work also had a profound impact on the development of electric power transmission systems. Her work enabled electric engineers to make calculations and design transmission systems with greater accuracy and confidence, leading to the development of more efficient and dependable transmission systems. Lastly, the Clarke Transformation enabled the development of modern electric power systems, which are the backbone of our modern electricity infrastructure.

In addition to her engineering accomplishments, Edith Clarke also became an influential advocate for the rights of women engineers. She was a vocal proponent of equal rights in the profession, and she campaigned tirelessly to open up the engineering profession to women.

**Legacy of Edith Clarke**

Edith Clarke’s work revolutionized the field of electrical engineering and laid the groundwork for modern power engineering. Her work enabled electric engineers to calculate and design power systems much more quickly and accurately, leading to greater efficiencies in engineering, construction, and maintenance of electrical power systems.

In addition, Edith Clarke’s legacy extends beyond engineering. She was also a passionate advocate for women engineers and a staunch believer in the value of equal rights in the profession. Her pioneering efforts in a field that was largely dominated by men made her an icon and an inspiration for generations of future female engineers.

Today, Edith Clarke is remembered as one of the great pioneers of electrical engineering and a powerful advocate for women engineers. Her legacy continues to inspire generations of engineers to this day.

Edith Clarke was a pioneering American electrical engineer who was the first female professor of electrical engineering in the United States, and the first woman to receive a master’s degreein electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She is best remembered for her development of the Clarke Transformation and her major contributions to the development of electric power transmission systems. In addition, she was a passionate advocate for women engineers and a tireless campaigner for equal rights in the profession. Today, her legacy lives on as an icon of women’s equal rights in engineering and a source of inspiration for generations of female engineers.