Female protagonism in fusion energy. The important role of women in this sector has been made clear during the recognition that the ‘Women in Dones’ (WiD) collective has paid this morning to Pilar Aranda, rector of the University of Granada, and Yolanda Benito, director general of the Centre for Energy, Environmental and Technological Research (CIEMAT-Ministry of Science and Innovation).
“It is a great honour to receive this distinction. As a woman, I understand we must be an example for many girls. We may have felt ashamed then, but we must not be afraid of failure. We are in a society of success that penalises us when we fail, but failure should be recognised because when we face it, we grow as people”, said Pilar Aranda.
For her part, Yolanda Benito was “very excited” to receive this distinction. “I have only been director of CIEMAT for a year and this is the first award I have received. I cannot fail to recognise the important work that my predecessors, researchers and colleagues have done to get us this far. You can count on my total commitment to continue promoting this great project”, she added.
The award occurred at the Palacio de la Madraza, during the DONES Xcitech School. In this way, WiD wants to highlight Aranda and Benito’s impulse to develop the particle accelerator in Granada. The leadership shown by both women in their positions of responsibility is an inspiration for this group, launched last February on the Day of Women and Girls in Science.
“Women in Dones is a group that aims to become an international platform to highlight the role of women in advancing the cutting-edge research and technologies being worked on in the DONES Programme.
“Through this community, we can encourage each other to take on new challenges, learn new skills and make the most of the opportunities available within the IFMIF-DONES project. By working together and supporting each other, we can strengthen our role in developing this centre and showcase our contributions to the field. Women in DONES is a space where women can feel fulfilled, inspired and connected, and where we can help each other reach our full potential,” says WiD.
Although the group is in its early stages of formation, it is overgrowing. Every day it is adding more and more members from different fields, such as engineering, teaching, research, biomedicine, administration, industry, etc.
WiD is part of the network of collectives and organisations that promote female talent in Big Science, such as ‘Women in Fusion’.
The Granada artist Lola Moral created the sculpture with which Pilar Aranda and Yolanda Benito were recognised.
About Women in Dones (WiD)
WiD is a group that aims to become an international platform to highlight women’s role in advancing research and cutting-edge technologies in the DONES Programme.
It is also the intention of the organisation to create networks and opportunities for women in the field to learn from each other’s experiences, collaborate and advance professionally.
WiD should serve as a resource, both within and outside the group itself, to influence and promote equality and diversity in the world of science in general and the areas related to the DONES Programme.
The aim of IFMIF is to investigate the behaviour of different materials that could be used in future nuclear fusion reactors. The DONES project is a scaled-down version of IFMIF. In addition, DONES is being designed so that it can fulfil all the capabilities of IFMIF. At this stage, the aim of the project is to develop the necessary R&D and engineering activities to start construction of the facility.
The IFMIF-DONES consortium was created in June 2021, through a collaboration agreement between the General State Administration (Ministry of Science and Innovation) and the Ministry of Economic Transformation, Industry, Knowledge and Universities of the Regional Government of Andalusia to promote the Spanish candidacy and, in case of success, to manage the Spanish contribution to the project.
According to its statutes, the consortium aims to contribute to the European Fusion Programme, among other things, through the design, construction, equipment and operation of the IFMIF-DONES facility. The consortium will manage and promote the scientific, economic, technical and administrative collaboration of its member entities and will hold the ownership of the scientific and technical infrastructure built and financed with its resources.
The IFMIF-DONES project is an initiative of the National Fusion Laboratory of the Energy, Environmental and Technological Research Centre (CIEMAT). CIEMAT is a Public Research Organisation attached to the Ministry of Science and first, which has led from the beginning the design of this facility and is currently financing the construction of first buildings and laboratories in Escúzar.
The IFMIF-DONES España consortium is a research entity shared equally between the General State Administration and the Autonomous Community of Andalusia. The consortium is currently promoting the candidacy of Granada as a site to host the facility.