CIC energiGUNE, the Basque research center of reference in battery storage, thermal energy solutions, and hydrogen, and member of the Basque Research & Technology Alliance BRTA, has become the first organization of its kind to count with a Scientific Leadership led by women. “It is the natural consequence of the professional development of our workforce, comprised of 50% men and women”, has expressed Asier Urzelai, Director of the People area at CIC energiGUNE, who is “proud that the workforce’s assessment in the last equality survey has been very good; now it is our time to work on bettering several aspects on conciliation that cause worry to the centre and to society in general, which have been emphasised in this working from home framework accelerated by the COVID crisis”.
In its General Manager’s opinion, Nuria Gisbert who was one of the first women to take the responsibility of directing a Cooperative Research Centre, the leadership area cannot be unaware of the increasing female presence in the field of research. “It is not a situation which we have forced; it is that the reality and the worth of the people that work here have led to this stage”.
This way, the Centre now counts with a female Scientific Director in both of the two main research areas: the thermal area and the electrochemical area. Doctor Elena Palomo, with a widely internationally renowned trajectory, was one of the first scientists to take up a managerial position in an organization dedicated to research in the Basque Country. Presently, she is responsible for the Scientific Management in the area of Thermal Energy Solutions.
As responsible for the Thermal Energy Solutions Area, Dr. Palomo leads the research groups "Solid State Chemical Reactions", "Phase Transitions and Critical Behaviors", "Interfacial phenomena, colloids and porous media" and "Heat Transfer Intensification". She has also been involved in the management of European projects, both in the leadership -managing 6 projects- and in the evaluation of the FP6, FP7 and H2020 framework programs, and has combined this work with the industry sector, where she has led more than 20 projects with companies.
The incorporation to the leadership team of doctor Montse Casas-Cabanas at CIC energiGUNE is more recent. Since the beginning of 2020, she holds the position of Scientific Coordinator of the Electrochemical Energy Storage Area, as a culmination of a career plan and mentoring process developed during several years at the Centre.