When Flugge-Lotz was born in 1903 in Hameln, Germany, there were very few women being educated in mathematics and engineering. However, because her mother's family was active in construction engineering, she visited many sites during her early years. In 1923, she attended the Technical University of Hanover, majoring in math and engineering. She earned a doctorate in 1929 when she completed a dissertation on the mathematical theory of heat. After her marriage to Wilhelm Flugge (a civil engineer), they lived and worked in the German area which later became part of France. Both were offered positions in Paris at the National Office for Aeronautical Research. In 1948, both journeyed to America at the invitation of Stanford University, where Flugge-Lotz became Stanford's first woman Professor of Engineering in 1961. She died in California in 1974.