Janet Hall (’68 CECS, ‘90 COB) was the first female graduate from the College. She had a long and distinguished career in manufacturing before her retirement in 2002. During her time on campus, Janet co-founded the Society of Women Engineers (SWE).
Starting as a UM-Dearborn co-op student with Ford Motor Company in 1968, she held a variety of jobs of increasing responsibility at Ford before returning to UM-Dearborn to earn her masters degree in Business Management in 1990. In 1996, she moved to Germany to build a team to cast parts for the new engine block for the Ford Focus. After her overseas assignment, she returned to the U.S. to run the Engine Manufacturing Development Office.
Upon retirement, her position with Ford was the manager of powertrain prototype builds, where she had nearly 700 people reporting to her from four locations throughout the United States and Europe. Through her 32 years at Ford Motor Company, Janet was heralded for helping break down the gender barrier in the field of engineering. She has long been an active member of the regional SWE organizations, having been the Volunteer President of the Detroit Chapter in the 70s, and currently volunteers with the active SWE group on campus.
She continues to come back to campus as a guest speaker for classes within the College of Engineering and Computer Sciences (CECS), to serve as a judge for the annual CECS Senior Design Project Competition, and to assist in the recruitment and mentoring of female engineering students. As her colleague states, it is “her dedication to the field of engineering and her commitment to UM-Dearborn that truly makes Janet a Difference Maker.”