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"Women In Aviation Science" | Interview - Irini Karakasidou


In this article, we meet Irini Karakasidou from our Greek partner, Municipality of Egaleo, who participates in the ImAFUSA project. As a part of our campaign “Women In Aviation Science”, she answered our questions, such as how she got involved in the project, which roles she has undertaken, and the importance of women's leadership in her field. Let’s read what she had to say.

 

Can you introduce yourself and describe your role within the ImAFUSA project? What sparked your interest in joining this project?

I have always been fascinated by the intersection of technology and transportation. The idea of Urban Air Mobility represents a groundbreaking shift in how we think about commuting and transportation in densely populated areas. The potential to revolutionise the way people and goods move within a city is what sparked my interest in joining a UAM project. I am excited about the prospect of contributing to the development of innovative solutions that could have a significant impact on urban living, addressing challenges such as congestion and environmental sustainability.

  

Write a quote that summarises your opinion about “Women in science”.

Women in science: Catalysts of innovation, breaking barriers, shaping the future.

 

In your role within ImAFUSA, how do you contribute to the project's mission?

In my role within ImAFUSA, my contribution aligns closely with the project's overarching missions. I actively participate in conducting research, analysing data, coordinating project activities, and collaborating with interdisciplinary teams to ensure the successful execution of our objectives. Overall, my role is centered on translating our project missions into actionable steps, leveraging my expertise to contribute meaningfully, and collaborating with team members to achieve our shared objectives.

 

I am excited about the prospect of contributing to the development of innovative solutions that could have a significant impact on urban living, addressing challenges such as congestion and environmental sustainability.

 

As a woman working on this project, what are your thoughts on the importance of gender diversity in this field?

As a woman working in the field of Urban Air Mobility, I consider gender diversity to be of utmost importance for several reasons. Firstly, diversity, including gender diversity, brings a richness of perspectives and experiences to the table. In a rapidly evolving and innovative field like UAM, having a variety of viewpoints enhances our ability to tackle complex challenges and come up with creative solutions.

Secondly, gender diversity is essential for fostering an inclusive and supportive work environment. When people from diverse backgrounds, including different genders, collaborate, it creates a more vibrant and dynamic workplace culture. This inclusivity is not just about fairness; it directly contributes to the success and effectiveness of UAM projects.

Furthermore, encouraging gender diversity in UAM is crucial for breaking down stereotypes and barriers. By showcasing the contributions of women in this field, we can inspire the next generation of female professionals to pursue careers in STEM and UAM, ensuring a more balanced representation in the industry.

Ultimately, gender diversity is not just a goal for the sake of representation; it is a strategic advantage that drives innovation, improves decision-making, and helps create technologies that are considerate of the diverse needs of the communities we aim to serve through UAM projects.

 

When people from diverse backgrounds, including different genders, collaborate, it creates a more vibrant and dynamic workplace culture.

 

ImAFUSA may have women in leadership positions. Can you share your perspective on the importance of women holding leadership roles in projects like this?

Women in leadership roles contribute significantly to the success and sustainability of projects like ImAFUSA. Their inclusion not only supports the principles of equity and diversity but also enhances the overall effectiveness and impact of the project on a global scale.

 

How has your involvement with the project contributed to your professional growth and skills development?

My involvement in the UAM has been instrumental in shaping my professional growth and skills development in several ways. Firstly, working on this project provided me with hands-on experience in UAM technology development, project management and collaboration with interdisciplinary teams. This practical experience has been invaluable in deepening my understanding of the complexities and nuances of UAM technology.

Secondly, the collaborative nature of the project exposed me to diverse perspectives and working styles. Engaging with professionals from different backgrounds and disciplines enhanced my ability to communicate effectively, collaborate efficiently, and adapt to varying project requirements. This experience has been crucial in developing my interpersonal and teamwork skills, which are essential in any dynamic work environment.

Furthermore, the project required me to navigate and overcome various challenges, fostering problem-solving skills and resilience. Whether it was addressing technical hurdles, managing project timelines, or adapting to unforeseen circumstances, each challenge presented an opportunity for growth.

Lastly, the project provided ample opportunities for leadership and decision-making. Taking on responsibilities such as leading a team and making strategic decisions allowed me to further hone my leadership skills and strategic thinking.

Overall, my involvement in this project has been a transformative experience, contributing to my professional growth by expanding my skill set, enhancing my adaptability, and providing a platform for leadership opportunities.

 

I expect that ImAFUSA will play a pivotal role in technology development, infrastructure planning, and regulatory advancements to foster the growth and integration of UAM into urban landscapes.


Looking ahead, what are your hopes and expectations for ImAFUSA's role in the UAM field?

For ImAFUSA's role in the UAM field, I have high hopes for its continued contribution to the evolution of urban air mobility. I expect that ImAFUSA will play a pivotal role in technology development, infrastructure planning, and regulatory advancements to foster the growth and integration of UAM into urban landscapes. I hope to see ImAFUSA at the forefront of initiatives and breakthroughs that push the boundaries of what's possible in urban aviation, making air travel more accessible, efficient, and sustainable.

I am optimistic that ImAFUSA will play an instrumental role in shaping the future of UAM and sustainable aviation, contributing to a more connected, efficient, and environmentally conscious global transportation system.

 

What message or advice would you like to share with women who aspire to work in this scientific field, especially those interested in making a positive impact on the environment?

Stay Curious: Curiosity is the fuel that drives scientific exploration. Stay curious about the world around you and maintain a lifelong commitment to learning.

Build a Support System: Seek out mentors, allies, and supportive networks. Surround yourself with individuals who believe in your potential and can offer guidance and encouragement.

Embrace Interdisciplinarity: Environmental challenges often require interdisciplinary solutions. Don't hesitate to explore connections between different scientific fields and collaborate with experts from diverse backgrounds.

Pursue Passion Projects: Identify areas within environmental science that align with your passions. Pursue projects that truly resonate with you, as genuine interest fuels dedication and perseverance.

Be Resilient: The scientific journey may have setbacks. Approach challenges with resilience, viewing them as opportunities for learning and growth.

Never Underestimate Your Impact: Your contributions, no matter how small they may seem, can collectively lead to significant positive change. Recognize and celebrate the impact you have on the environment through your work.


Remember, your commitment to science and the environment is a powerful force for good. The world awaits your contributions, and you have the potential to leave a legacy of positive environmental impact.

 

 

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