IAEA Women Honoured for Contribution to Science and Public Education

Dr. Gabriele Voigt addressing participants at the Symposium. (Photo Credit: WNA)

The IAEA´s Dr. Gabriele Voigt and Dr. Anita Nilsson were among fourteen eminent women honoured during the 30th Annual Symposium of the World Nuclear Association (WNA), held 8 September 2005 in London.

The awardees were role models who "present an encouraging message for young women considering the nuclear professions and an instructive message to managers within the nuclear industry," WNA Director General John Ritch said.

"The message to managers is particularly significant. For a rapidly expanding global industry, a diversified workforce is not just a moral and legal obligation; it is also a sound business objective. The contribution of women as scientists and leaders is proven, and their credibility as communicators is a uniquely effective asset in strengthening public confidence in nuclear technology as a safe and valuable tool in the global pursuit of sustainable development," Dr. Ritch said.

Dr. Voigt from Germany, is the director of the IAEA´s Seibersdorf Laboratory. She leads a staff of 180 that serves as the IAEA´s research and analysis arm, while conducting programmes on human health, water resources, food and agriculture, and scientific training for developing countries. Read Profile.

Dr. Anita Nilsson from Sweden is head of the IAEA´s office of nuclear security, that directs an international programme aimed at protecting nuclear and other radioactive materials from seizure and misuse by terrorists.

The ceremony not only recognised individuals but the contribution of Women-in-Nuclear (WIN), the global organisation of professional women in the nuclear field. With 2,000 members in 56 countries, WIN´s dual mission is to promote the role of women in a diversity of nuclear professions and to increase public understanding of the benefits of nuclear science and technology.

Despite attainments, the nuclear professions still remains a male-dominated arena. At the IAEA in Vienna women fill 20% of professional and higher posts. Women are also comparably underrepresented in the wide realm of nuclear professions in the private sector. Both the IAEA and the WNA are committed to rectifying this deficiency. With nuclear technology predicted to play an expanding role in the 21st century, each organisation is seeking to identify and encourage measures to attract women in increasing numbers into nuclear science and technology.

WNA Awardees: Women of Achievement in Nuclear Science & Technology

Dr. Gabriele Voigt (Germany) – As head of the IAEA´s Seibersdorf Laboratory, she leads a staff of 180 that serves as this key UN agency´s research and analysis arm, while conducting programmes on human health, water resources, food and agriculture, and scientific training for developing countries.

Dr. Anita Nilsson (Sweden) – As head of the IAEA´s office of nuclear security, she directs the key international programme aimed at protecting nuclear and other radioactive materials from seizure and misuse by terrorists.

Dr. Constancia Pagano (Brazil) – As director of the Radiopharmacy Centre at the Nuclear and Energy Research Institute in Sao Paolo, she is a noted expert on the production and quality control of radiopharmaceuticals and the application of radioisotopes in medicine.

Ms. Xuehong Liu (China) – Now general manager of China Zhongyuan Engineering Corporation, she has for nearly 30 years been a key figure in a civil nuclear energy establishment that today occupies a central role in China´s strategic development plans.

Dr. Dana Drabova (Czech Republic) – As head of the Czech nuclear regulatory authority, she has played a leading role in ensuring safety and building public confidence in this key Central European nation´s expanding nuclear power programme.

Dr. Laila Fikri Fouad (Egypt) – As the Egyptian Atomic Energy Authority´s head of training and international cooperation, she is one of the Africa-Middle East region´s foremost experts on nuclear instrumentation and medical equipment.

Dr. Anne Flury-Herard (France) – Now director of the Life Sciences division at the French Atomic Energy Commission, she is a widely recognised expert in translating the results of biological research into applications for radiological protection.

Ms. Junko Ogawa (Japan) – Now the president of WIN-Global and a top public relations executive at the Japan Atomic Power Company, she has a distinguished record of 30 years as a professional communicator within and for the nuclear industry.

Dr. Alum dela Rosa (Philippines) – As director of the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute, she is a noted expert in irradiation techniques for valuable purposes ranging from food preservation to the modification of natural polymers to vulcanise rubber.

Ms. Ludmila Zalimskaya (Russia) – As deputy head of TENEX, Russia’s major exporter of nuclear fuel products, she has helped implement the Russia-US "Megatonnes to Megawatts" programme, which converts weapons-usable uranium to nuclear fuel for power reactors. (A full 10% of US electricity is now generated from former Soviet warheads.)

Dr. Salimata Wade (Senegal) – As a professor of physiology and human nutrition, Dr Wade has, through her research using isotope tracers, made a major contribution to community nutrition programmes in rural areas throughout Africa.

Dr. Byung Joo Min (South Korea) – In directing the Nuclear Training Centre at the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, she leads a key Asian educational institution as the first woman to head a nuclear establishment in Korea.

Dr. Sue Ion (UK) – As director of technology at British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL), one of the world´s leading nuclear enterprises, she is a widely recognised leader internationally and serves on the panel that advises Britain´s Prime Minister on science and technology.

Ms. Marilyn Kray (US) – As a reactor engineer and now president of NuStart, she heads the consortium of major U.S. nuclear operators that is developing and executing strategy for a full-scale revitalisation of the American nuclear power industry.

Last update: 12 November 2014