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They can do it! Meet the new coordinators of Q-SCI

Portrait of two women in a lab
Elina Charatsidou and Liviana Palmisano, the new coordinators of the Q-SCI network. Photo: Marta Marko-Tisch
Published Feb 27, 2024

Liviana Palmisano and Elina Charatsidou are stepping into their new roles as coordinators of Q-SCI, ready to drive forward the mission of fostering a supportive community for female faculty members. Through engaging discussions and events, they aim to raise gender awareness and facilitate networking opportunities, closely aligned with KTH's overarching gender equality goals.

Tell us about your background.

Liviana: I am an Associate Professor at the Department of Mathematics. Originally from Italy, I was born and raised in Italy, and before coming to Sweden I lived in England, France, Poland, and the USA. Thanks to my work in mathematics, I have visited several other countries such as Benin, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, and Switzerland for both short and long periods. My field of specialization is dynamical systems, with a focus on studying the "chaotic" behaviour of Hénon systems, which are frequent in numerous natural processes.

Elina: Born in Ukraine and raised in Greece, I studied physics for my Bachelor's degree before moving to Sweden for a Master's degree in nuclear engineering at KTH. I am currently working on my PhD, focusing on the development of innovative nuclear fuels. Outside of academia, I run a YouTube channel called 'Your Friendly Nuclear Physicist', which aims to explain nuclear science, challenge misconceptions, and promote informed discussions about nuclear energy. I'm committed to improving communication between research and the public, and I actively encourage young women to consider careers in engineering through mentoring and networking, including involvement in Q-SCI.

What inspired you to apply for this role?

Liviana: My motivation stems from a desire to build upon the impactful work previously accomplished within the Q-SCI network. The lunch meetings organized by the former coordinators were deeply inspiring and often left me with new insights and stories to share. The discussions on the role of women in science had a great impact on me.

What do you want to achieve with Q-SCI?

Liviana: To continue the extraordinary work done so far is a primary goal. For me, the essence of the Q-SCI meetings revolves around fostering community and providing inspiration. Creating a supportive environment where members can feel comfortable and motivated is crucial. I also want to raise awareness about gender discrimination within the faculty.

Elina: I took this position to drive change in the working environment at KTH, focusing on how it affects female employees of all positions, from students to faculty. My goal is to work towards an environment that respects the contribution of women in their fields, acknowledges their experiences, both positive and negative, and actively works to implement positive change while offering support.

What is first on the agenda?

We will start with planning our first lunch meeting to discuss the recent KTH report on "Double Discrimination against Women" - a report on gender-based violence in the form of verbal and sexual harassment at KTH. The aim is to raise awareness among faculty members and to gather ideas for possible actions to improve the current situation. Stay tuned!

You are taking over from Carlota Canalias and Linda Lundström. Is there anything you will keep from their way of running Q-SCI or will you make a clean start?

Liviana: We plan to keep the tradition of organizing lunch meetings, as established by Carlota and Linda, as well as introducing workshops. I am particularly looking forward to working with Elina, whose enthusiasm and understanding of the challenges faced by PhD students will be invaluable to our network.

Elina: I have appreciated the sense of community that Q-SCI has fostered under Linda and Carlota. We'll maintain this welcoming atmosphere while exploring ways to improve the structure and impact of the network, especially concerning women's careers and the working environment at KTH.