P.K. Thressia

P.K. Thressia (12 March 1924 - 18 November 1981) was a Civil Engineer and became India's first female chief engineer.[1][2][3]

Early life and educationEdit

P.K. Thressia was born in Kerala on the 12 March 1924 into a devout Syrian Catholic family.[1] She attended the St Mary's High School in Kattoor and through her father's encouragement went onto study Civil Engineering at the College of Engineering, Guindy (CEG), alongside fellow women engineers, Ayyalasomayajula Lalitha and Leelamma Koshie.[1][4] She graduated in 1944, after her degree was compressed to three and half years due to the Second World War.[4][1]

Engineering careerEdit

After graduating, Thressia worked for the Public Works Commission of the Kingdom of Cochin, which was under the British rule as Section Officer and shortly after received a promotion to the Assistant Construction Engineer for the TB Sanatorium, Mulakunnathukavu.[5] She became Executive Engineer in 1956, which meant she had to move to Ernakulam, where she worked for nine years. In 1966, she was promoted to Superintending Engineer of Kozhikode Roads and Buildings.[1] In 1971, she was promoted to Chief Engineer of the state of Kerala.[1] In Roots and Wings, by Shantha Mohan, she is quoted as saying that 'an engineer's life is not as difficult as many women think.'[1]

She retired in 1979, after working for the Kerala Public Works Department for 34 years and became a founding consultant for the firm Taj Engineers.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Mohan, Shantha R. (2018). Roots and wings : inspiring stories of Indian women in engineering. Chennai, India: Notion Press. ISBN 978-1-64429-132-0. OCLC 1054198087.
  2. ^ "PK Thresia: The Forgotten Story of India's First Woman Chief Engineer". The Better India. 2019-09-10. Retrieved 2020-08-21.
  3. ^ Ponvannan, Gayathri. Unstoppable : 75 stories of trailblazing Indian women. Gurgaon. ISBN 978-93-88322-01-0. OCLC 1085964222.
  4. ^ a b "Women Engineers of CEG". AACEG. Retrieved 2020-08-21.
  5. ^ mbcet (2017-07-09). "P.K. Thressia: India's First Woman Chief Engineer". Engineering, Science & Technology Resources Portal. Retrieved 2020-08-21.