Elisa Leonida Zamfirescu (November 10, 1887 - November 25, 1973), was the first woman engineer in Europe. Some say that she was the first woman engineer in the world
Elisa Leonida attended primary school in Galaţi and the high school at "Central School for Girls" in Bucharest, obtaining a baccalaureate at "Michael the Brave" high school. Rejected because of prejudice of the School of Bridges and Roads in Bucharest, she entered in 1909 at the Royal Technical Academy in Berlin, Charlottemburg, which she graduated in 1912, becoming the first woman engineer in Europe.
When registering, the Dean tried to persuade to stop bringing the argument of three K: Kirche, Kinder, Küche (church, children, cooking) as essential for women's profile. The press reported the event as a stunt: "A compatriot of ours, Miss Elisa Leonida, instead of studying Letters or Medicine, or worse, the Law, studied engineering at Charlottemburg. The future of women in engineering is great, Miss Elisa Leonida passed with great success last final exam, obtaining the diploma of engineer (newspaper "Minerva", 1912).
After returning to Romania, she was employed as an assistant at the Institute of Geology. Elisa participate in WWI as a member of the Red Cross, helping and leading many hospitals, for which was awarded. In 1918 she married on the front-line with chemist Constantin Zamfirescu, brother of the writer Duiliu Zamfirescu. After the war she resumed work at the Institute, leading several geological analysis laboratories. She participated in major field studies, in particular the identification and analysis of new resources of coal, shale, natural gas, chromium, bauxite and copper, and wrote monographs on these studies. Elisa also taught physics and chemistry.
She retired in 1963, aged 75. Elisa Leonida Zamfirescu was the first woman member of A.G.I.R. (General Association of Romanian Engineers) and of International Association of University Women; since 1993 a street in District 1 of Bucharest bears his name.