La Vona Gebb Drankham (1918-2011) graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, (UCLA) in January 1940 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mathematics. During the 1940s Drankham worked for Douglas Aircraft Company and then was hired by North American Aviation Aerophysics Lab (later Rockwell International) in 1949, where she worked for 25 years. Drankham was a Mass Properties Engineer in Advanced Engineering, and was responsible for estimating the weight of a vehicle, the distribution of that weight and the effect that weight has on performance. For several years she was one of the weight engineers on the NASA Apollo spacecraft project. She was also a member of the Space Shuttle Design Team for Rockwell International. She retired from Rockwell in 1974. In 1970 she was awarded the Apollo Achievement Award as a member of the Apollo Team.