Dr. Janet Briggs was known throughout the mining world as an outstanding author and consultant on a variety of metallurgical subjects. In a field that was dominated by men, she achieved world-renown as an engineer whose contributions and technical accomplishments were of highest quality.
She was the first woman ever to receive a mining degree from Stanford University, where she graduated with honors. An expert aviator, she served as Vice President of the Stanford Flying Club. She began her professional career in 1936 with Crucible Steel Corporation, serving as a metallurgist there before resigning to take a job with Climax Molybdenum Company that was to occupy the final twenty-eight years of her life.
With her immense background in metallurgy, she disseminated facts on molybdenum. She was capable of reading German, French, Russian, technical Italian, Swedish, Spanish, Romanian and Ukrainian, and was able to interpret technical data from Chinese and Japanese publications. Her expertise in molybdenum was phenomenal. She authored more than 30 publications, the best known being: “Molybdenum - Steels, Iron and Alloys,” which is recognized as the basic authoritative reference.
In 1970 she was appointed Vice President, Technical Information for Climax Molybdenum. In 1971, she was given the Award of Excellence by the North American Precise Syndicate and in 1974 the Fourth Class of the Order of the Sacred Treasure was conferred upon her by the Emperor of Japan, “in recognition of her contribution to the development of Japan’s steel Industry.”