Raye Montague developed the first computer-generated rough draft of ship specifications.
We’ve heard of the iconic “hidden figures” on whose work the American space program was built, but there are many, many others, including Raye Montague, who, according to THV 11, has died at the age of 83.
Montague passed away at Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock, Arkansas, on Wednesday. Pulaski County Coroner Gerone Hobbs said Montague suffered from congestive heart failure, though a formal cause of death hadn’t been filed yet, Arkansas Online reports.
Montague’s contribution to history came when she, an internationally registered professional engineer, developed a computer program that created rough drafts of ship specifications.
Used in developing the first-ever computer-generated Navy ship, the FFG-7 frigate, her work fundamentally changed the way the U.S. Navy builds its vessels.
Montague was feted for breaking the glass ceiling in her industry and was inducted into the Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame last year.
“I had to run circles around people, but when they found out I really knew what I was talking about they came to respect me,” the engineer told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in a 2012 profile. “I worked long hours and traveled for the job because I couldn’t say I wanted the same wages as the guys if I couldn’t. I had to do all the same things, within reason, that they did.”
R.I.P., Raye Montague. Our hearts go out to her family and loved ones.