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Franklin, Marjorie

Heard Franklin
Year Inducted: 
Marjorie Franklin
  • Principal and Co-owner of Franklin Associates, Ltd
  • First woman in the US elected to an engineering honor society
  • First woman to graduate from KU in Aeronautical Engineering
  • First woman to Chair the School of Engineering Advisory Board
  • First woman to Chair the Solid Waste Processing Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • Manager of annual municipal solid waste report for the United States EP

Marjorie Heard Franklin is a pioneer in the field of solid waste management engineering and the first University of Kansas woman to graduate in Aeronautical Engineering.  As the co-founder in 1974 and co-owner of Franklin Associates, Ltd., she has spent over 30 years offering consultation to the public and private sectors on life cycle analysis and solid waste management, particularly in the area of recycling and the recovered materials market.  Her company’s clientele includes numerous city, state and national government agencies, industry groups, and private corporations such as 3M, Coca-Cola, IBM, Ford Motors, Daimler/Chrysler, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, and Union Carbide.

While at Franklin Associates, Ltd, she managed the development of the statistical report “Characterization of Municipal Solid Waste in the United States,” based on a materials balance technology which she pioneered.  This annual report is published annually by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and is widely quoted.  Her list of publications and presentations on the topic is extensive.  They are the only consulting firm with access to this database.

At the University of Kansas, she accomplished a number of “firsts” in the field of engineering.  She was the first woman to graduate in Aeronautical Engineering from the University, and she was the first woman to Chair the School of Engineering Advisory Board.  As an undergraduate, she was the first woman in the United States to be elected into an Engineering Honor Society, Sigma Tau (later known as Tau Beta Pi).  She has also was the first woman to serve as Chair of the Solid Waste Processing Division of the American society of Mechanical Engineers.

Among her awards, she received the 2003 Distinguished Service Award from the KU School of Engineering, was recognized in 2003 by the KU Society of Women Engineers, and in 2004 was named to the KU Department of Aerospace Engineering Honor Roll.               

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