Women in Energy


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Celebrating the accomplishments of the hardworking women in energy 

Women are innovators, creators, do-ers and dreamers, making invaluable contributions to our energy history and future. The women in our Network are doing incredible work to advance smart, market-led, clean energy policies and we are proud to celebrate them. In recognition of Women’s History Month, we are excited to share the stories of women of the past and the present whose contributions to the energy industry have propelled us to a brighter future. 

CEN Celebrates Women in Energy – 2022 Women of the Conservative Energy Network

Women In Energy History

Dr. Mária Telkes

Meet Dr. Mária Telkes. Dr.Telkes is widely recognized as one of the first researchers to harness the power of the sun. She earned the nickname “Sun Queen” after making huge contributions to thermal storage development including the first thermal storage system and the first solar-heated house!

Dr. Chein-Shiung Wu

Dr. Chein-Shiung Wu, a Chinese-American physicist known as the “Queen of Nuclear Research,” joined the Manhattan Project at Substitute Alloy Materials Lab at Columbia in 1944. When the B reactor mysteriously shut down, Wu successfully helped identify the poisoning by xenon-135. 

Her book, published in 1965, is still a standard reference for nuclear physicists.

Edith Clarke

Incredible inventors, like Edith Clarke live beyond their time. As the first woman to earn an electric engineering degree from MIT, Clarke went on to become an engineer for General Electric where she invented and patented a device that solved electric power transmission line problems, named the Clarke calculator. Her work is regarded by some as the first steps towards “smart grid” technology.

Lise Meitner

Lise Meitner, an Austrian born-physicist, served on the team that gave the first theoretical explanation of the nuclear fission process. After these findings were published, additional research was released confirming the possibility fission could be used as a weapon. Meitner refused many jobs in this space declaring, “I will have nothing to do with a bomb!” She noted Hiroshima had come as a surprise for her and she was “sorry that the bomb had to be invented.” 

Meitner finished out her career participating in research for Sweden’s first nuclear reactor.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds

Kim Reynolds will go down in history as the first woman to become Governor of Iowa. She is a champion for renewable energy, developing Iowa’s statewide energy plan and making the state a powerhouse in wind production.

We are thankful for everything she does to help create a clean energy future.


At CEN, we strive to lift up all of our leaders, but want to put an extra spotlight on the women of our organization who show up everyday to help CEN forge a clean energy future. In statehouses, conference rooms, and virtual gatherings—the smart and talented women who work for CEN are making an impact and leading conservatives in the pursuit of commonsense clean energy solutions.