Silvia González

Red CEDIA has been very important in my career in Ecuador.

Silvia gonzalez

Winner of the Organization for Women in Science Award for the Developing World - OWSD and the Elsevier Foundation.

Silvia González Pérez is a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Exact Sciences and General Director of Misiones Universitarias de la Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja - UTPL, a member institution of Red CEDIA. She is also an ideological missionary and seeks to generate positive changes in society through her research.

Tell us briefly about your research, in what area you work and what the results of your research have been.

My research is part of Computational Physical Chemistry, I study the properties of materials such as metals, bimetals, nanotubes, etc. through specialized software installed in a calculation server, and interpret the results to explain their catalytic activity and other properties of interest.

As the National Research and Education Network of Ecuador, we are very interested in knowing how your participation in the invite for awards from the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World - OWSD and the Elsevier Foundation went.

UTPL received an invitation to participate in this invite, a teacher proposed that I apply, and my colleagues kindly supported this idea. So with the help of the Vice-Rector for Research we followed the steps of the application and presented the requirements: CV, the nomination of a University director, which in our case was the Rector, Dr. José Barbosa, and some colleagues, with whom I have worked in recent years, sent letters of recommendation (I never saw the letters, of which I am glad).

Tell us about the proposal presented in the organization’s invite.

We only described our experience to promote this field, as it is not a well-known discipline in the country, however, with the support of UTPL authorities, especially the Rector at that time, Dr. Luis Miguel Romero, and with the help of other colleagues, a calculation server was implemented with the appropriate software, and during the last years we have encouraged Chemical Engineering students to pursue these type of studies. I think I am part of several teams, especially UTPL, and before I was the team of Dr. Francesc Illas. I have never worked alone, everything I have done has been with the collaboration of other people, with whom I have shared the vision for the pursuit of knowledge and with whom I have learned a lot.

What do you feel when you are recognized by an organization that promotes development and research by rewarding outstanding women in the field of science?

I am very happy. For me it is a great achievement for UTPL and Ecuador. My reason for studying is to get closer to truth, which for me is God, because for me, as an Idente missionary the search for knowledge makes sense because it brings us closer to the Truth.

On the other hand, it was pleasant news that there are organizations so concerned in the development of science. I admire the struggle of researchers in difficult situations and I love that this has been for Chemistry, which is a branch of science that fascinates and delights me.

It was a pleasant experience, the Elsevier Foundation team and OSWD (World Organization for Women Scientists in developing countries) worked with us to express our experience. It was very pleasant to share time with them, I learned from their generosity, their dedication, their patience, and their humility to get the best out of us. They were exhausting, but extremely enriching days.

How do you see the development of research in Ecuador?

I think there's a lot to do, that's exciting. I see the future with great hope. Although I believe that there could be more support from institutions, for example, to promote the creation of postgraduate programs and funds for scholarships in national postgraduate programs. I believe that there is a lot of potential in our country and that with more support we could make quality specialized training available to the Ecuadorian youth.

As a researcher, how do you see yourself in five years?

Working with a team excited by chemistry, to find solutions, original proposals, and design new materials.

Have you participated in invites or projects with Red CEDIA?

Of course, I have participated in about 5 projects financed by the CEPRA invite. We are finishing the last one, and in a CECIRA project. Since 2009 they have supported my research. For me, Red CEDIA has been, after UTPL, the main funding entity. Red CEDIA has been very important in my career in Ecuador.

What do you think about Red CEDIA which supports the development of research and academia in Ecuador?

That it is fundamental. Organizations like Red CEDIA help us to make society pay attention to these areas and I think that people feel supported and encouraged.

Finally, what is your motivational message to all women scientists?

That they discover their authentic potential, that we bring something very particular to science, we see the world in a different way, with greater sensitivity, we give importance to other aspects and each one of us has something original to contribute, that is distinguished, because only we have those ideas, that history, that way of seeing the world. That they focus on what they want to achieve and put aside the obstacles that prevent us from progressing: envy, pride, vanity, comparisons; that love science and work as a team, that they meet with other people who also love knowledge. That they trust in themselves, that in their interior they have all the resources that they need to overcome the obstacles that they can find.