In the sixth episode of our "Women in Blue" interview series we invited Dr. Federica Mezzani from the La Sapienza University in Rome to talk about applying mechanical engineering to solutions that tackle important societal challenges.
Dr. Mezzani is a contract researcher within the Theoretical and Applied Mechanics group of the Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at La Sapienza University, Rome, where in 2019 she also received her PhD. In her PhD project she developed the experimental campaign related to her thesis at Technion, Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa. Her several international experiences include the internship at the BMW for her master thesis, the research activity at the University of Auckland (NZ), the collaboration within the Virgo project for the gravitational wave discovery. In this context, she was awarded with the Special Breakthrough prize in Fundamental Physics and the Gruber Cosmology prize.
In the interview, Dr. Mezzani shares the story of how research came as a natural option for her, of how the breakthroughs offered by research provide her with variety in everyday work but also the personal enrichment of her own knowledge. Diving deeper into her personal story as a researcher, we discover how setting clear objectives and going forward with determination are essential for advancing research, but also how the support of colleagues is essential for overcoming challenges. Using a concrete example from her own involvement in the Italian Task Force ‘Women for a new Renaissance’, Dr. Mezzani sheds light on how educating towards equality from an early age on is crucial in setting the right conditions for a more inclusive research environment. Dr. Mezzani enforces the fact that: ”We really have to work hard on young people and try to follow their entire career, empower them to follow all scientific fields and maybe find even a new way to teach scientific fields. Then they can grow up without thinking that scientific field are for guys.”
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We hope you enjoy the talk and feel inspired and motivated by it!