A chance comment at Chizumatic reminded me about one thing I wanted to post before I was through: as Sunred gave us the ideal woman, Gurren-Lagann gave us an ideal engineer. Actually there were two, but I am going to focus just on Leite to make the comparison more apparent.
I think traditionally (manga and) anime tended to exploit the "mad scientist" angle. Ikuyo of Hanaukyo Maid Tai would be about on center of this field. There was one example I thought was passable on such background, Parfait of Vandread. Even so, what always bugged me about her was her incompetence, such as in case of the snow machine. Also, creators felt necessary to link engineering and dorkiness, which is also a poor stereotype. Leite is a perfect example how all of this was entirely unnecessary. If she designs a machine, it works. She was also married at a time (pictured), with children. Absolutely reliable in all respects. That is how it should be.