Isabel Ribeiro, Researcher at the Institute for Systems and Robotics (ISR-Lisbon) / IST, shares her testimony about her own role and the relevance of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
During the month of March, the FCCN Unit joins GÉANT's #WomenInSTEM campaign, giving the opinions of several female guests in the STEM fields, in an interview.
Isabel Ribeiro (IR): My name is Isabel Ribeiro and I am a researcher at the Institute for Systems and Robotics(ISR-Lisbon).
When and why did you become interested in STEM? Was this your dream as a child/teenager?
IR: I was a kid who liked to do mechanical construction and use pliers and screwdrivers in small electrical repairs. It was already my tendency to like technology.
How does your work contribute to science, innovation and knowledge creation? How does your work impact the world?
IR: I have been doing research in mobile robotics since 1988, an area that I was a pioneer in Portugal. I participated in projects that built robots that were commercialized and, 35 years later, I see that this area of mobile robotics is disseminated throughout the universities. There are schools where there are groups of girls and boys participating in robotics projects, having fun and learning mathematics, physics and programming.
What do you hope to accomplish professionally (a goal/dream)?
IR: I want to continue doing robotics outreach to 6/7 year olds and my dream is that more and more girls will choose technology fields for their college degrees.
What inspiring message or advice would you give to young girls interested in a career in STEM?
IR: Let them realize that the field of robotics is not only for men, but it is also for women. It is an area where women can hold their own.