Her Daughter the Engineer:
The Life of Elsie Gregory MacGill (Click here for excerpts)
Elsie MacGill, the world's first female aeronautical engineer and professional aircraft designer, influenced early bush planes and guided production of famous aircraft in World War II.
"Elsie the engineer," was also the driving force on Canada's Royal Commission on the Status of Women and every inch the daughter of the suffragette judge Helen MacGill. Affected by muscle paralysis at 24, Elsie often struggled to walk as she pursued her amazing career.
Contact Canadian Science Publishing at
Or Chapters/Indigo Books
"... Her Daughter the Engineer... takes readers on a journey through MacGill's extraordinary life... By grasping MacGill's own golden thread, Bourgeois-Doyle weaves this remarkable woman's personal story with an exploration of Canadian aviation history."
SWE - The Magazine of U.S. Society of Women Engineers, Chicago, Illinois, 2008.
"This book is multidimensional, making it an interesting read that can capture a variety of audiences... Bourgeois-Doyle is meticulous in his description of the people in Elsie's world — her family, her classmates, her professors — providing the reader with a depth of understanding of... the events and thoughts that influenced her."
Canadian Aeronautics and Space Journal, Vol. 56, No. 1, 2010
"Elsie MacGill('s)... story represents the kind of inspiring experiences we are privileged to witness on a regular basis in this great profession. Her story... remind(s) me that opportunity is in the challenge, hope is in the desire, and value is in the effort."
Physical Therapy, Journal of the American Physical Therapy Association,
October 2008, Vol. 11, No. 10
"An engrossing book that captures both the life and times of one of Canada's most fascinating figures... a must-read for anyone interested in WWII aviation or the history of gender equality in Canada."
Alex Brett, Author of the Morgan O'Brien science-mystery series
"A refreshingly different perspective of Canadian aviation history. For example, though I am familiar with the history of Can-Car and Canadian built Hurricanes, seeing how the 'atmosphere of urgency' and 'obligations vital to everyone's interests' helped 'clarify the value of both sexes' strikes me as a somewhat timeless lesson as applicable today as it was then. This is certainly a book I would recommend to my high school aged daughter."
Tim Leslie, Vice President and Chief of Operations, Vintage Wings of Canada
"... a marvelous piece of work from beginning to end... it will be a very popular book and widely read and used"
Dr. Lorna Marsden, President and Vice-Chancellor, York University (1997-2007),
former Senator and 3rd President of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women
"... fascinating and inspiring."
Ottawa Citizen (June 1, 2008)
"the 'most important' Canadian aviation book I have had the pleasure of reading this year."
Timothy Dubé, National President, Canadian Aviation Historical Society (2009)
"This book is well worth reading... Recommended."
CHOICE Current Reviews – American Library Association (May 2009)
"... tells the inspiring story of how this young woman prevailed... academic in style, but also engaging."
Vancouver Sun 2008
"What a story this is."
Airforce Magazine (Summer 2008 )
"Our Canadian sisters have great reason to be proud of this woman... " The 99 News, Oklahoma (Official Magazine of the International Association of Women Pilots)
"... also wanted to let you know that it was your book which inspired us to name the award after Elsie (Elsie MacGill Northern Lights Award)... you did a wonderful job outlining her challenges, her personality and her contributions to aviation and women in particular! Thanks for that!"
99s First Canadian Chapter, Toronto
"... a fine account of the life and times of a remarkable Canadian woman."
Fly North Newletter – Thunder Bay (January – March 2009)
"It's a little-known story, but a truly remarkable one."
Fresh Air, CBC Toronto, October 2009