Port of Oakland’s First Female Engineer Retires

Press Releases

For Immediate Release
October 31, 2014

Port of Oakland’s First Female Engineer Retires After 33 Years of Service

Jill Bornor-Brown Also Port’s First African-American Female Engineer


Jill Bornor-BrownOakland, CA – October 31, 2014 – Jill Bornor-Brown made history when she became the first female engineer as well as the first African-American female engineer to be hired at the Port of Oakland more than 33 years ago. She is the only African-American woman to hold a license in both Electrical and Mechanical Engineering in California. Ms. Bornor-Brown retires today from the Port of Oakland.

“Working at the Port of Oakland has been an extraordinary experience because I’ve had the good fortune to lead complex projects that deliver real benefits to our community whether they’re related to keeping our port secure or improving air quality,” said Ms. Bornor-Brown. “I want to encourage young women today to consider engineering as a career. It’s a fascinating field and very satisfying when you know you are serving the public good every day you go to work.”

Firsts are not uncommon to Ms. Bornor-Brown. She was the first African-American to graduate with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Davis and the first African-American to graduate with a degree in Material Science Engineering from UC Davis.

Ms. Bornor-Brown’s retirement leaving a remarkable legacy. She was the Port’s project engineer for the installation of the radiation portal monitors at the Oakland seaport. This made the Port of Oakland the first major container port in the nation to screen 100% of the containers entering the US through its gateway. More recently, she managed the design and construction of the Port’s shore power project. Shore power makes it possible for vessels to plug-in to a landside power grid and turn off the diesel engines, virtually eliminating ship emissions at dock. Additionally, Ms. Bornor-Brown was the project design and/or construction manager for most of the utility systems that were built over the last 30 years at the Oakland seaport and Oakland International Airport.

She has either managed or contributed her technical expertise to more than $580 million in engineering projects at the Port of Oakland.

About the Port of Oakland
The Port of Oakland oversees the Oakland seaport and Oakland International Airport. The Port’s jurisdiction includes 20 miles of waterfront from the Bay Bridge through Oakland International Airport. The Oakland seaport is the fifth busiest container port in the U.S.; Oakland International Airport is the second largest San Francisco Bay Area airport offering over 300 daily passenger and cargo flights; and the Port’s real estate includes commercial developments such as Jack London Square and hundreds of acres of public parks and conservation areas. Together, through Port operations and those of its tenants and users, the Port supports more than 73,000 jobs in the region and nearly 827,000 jobs across the United States. The Port of Oakland was established in 1927 and is an independent department of the City of Oakland. Connect with the Port of Oakland and Oakland International Airport through Facebook, or with the Port on Twitter, YouTube, and at www.portofoakland.com.

Media Contact:

Roberto Bernardo,
Communications Manager
Port of Oakland
(510) 627-1401
Click here to contact Robert Bernardo

Marilyn Sandifur
Port Spokesperson
Port of Oakland
(510) 627-1193
Click here to contact Marilyn Sandifur

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