Aeronautical Engineer,

Lived from March 8, 1909 to November 18, 1990


Training: After working for an electrical engineering company for three years, Tilly’s employer encouraged her to pursue a degree in electrical engineering at Manchester University. After doing so, she got another degree in mechanical engineering and worked as a research assistant at the University of Birmingham before becoming a scientific officer at the Royal Aircraft Establishment.

Accomplishments: During World War II, Royal Air Force fighters sometimes had issues diving while in combat because their engines would be flooded with excess fuel and cut out. Tilly devised a simple solution to this problem. She designed a metal disc with a hole in the middle that kept the flow of fuel constant. This device was popular with the RAF fighters, who nicknamed it “Miss Shilling’s Orifice,” or just “Tilly’s Orifice.”

Fun Fact: Tilly also raced motorcycles! She even beat professional riders and won the Gold Star for lapping the Brooklands circuit at 106 mph!

 Read more about her career! Aerospace Engineer