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BreezoMeter Celebrates International Women's Day & Science Week

Amalia Helen

We believe that science & gender equality are essential for a future of innovation and problem-solving across all technological and scientific fields and we don't ever think gender should be a barrier that stops a person from learning new skills or pursuing a career they love!

Q & A with BreezoMeter's Female Scientists

As today is International Women's Day AND British Science Week, we asked some of our own female scientists about their career journeys so far and what advice they have for young girls and women interested in pursuing a similar path:

Gabriela Adler Katz- Chief Scientist

 
I work as BreezoMeter’s Chief Scientist - on a daily basis, I get to work towards fulfilling my personal vision of democratizing environmental data worldwide...which also happens to be the vision of our company too. I take on active cross-departmental consulting roles for all algorithmic queries relating to our air quality information (whether internal or external). I also contribute to the company's product development and roadmap from  a scientific point of view and help to further the environmental research we do in the name of the company - through scientific proposals and academic/research outreach.

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How did you come to do what you do now? Why did you choose this path?

During my last year in undergraduate school  (Aerospace Engineering at the Technion), I started to consider how I could use the engineering knowledge and skills I had gained during my studies to help make this world a better place (as cliché as it may sound :-). 
 I was actually driven to change the path I was on and continued on to an Msc and PhD in Atmospheric Science). In particular, I wanted to help find solutions to the climate change problem.  Given this desire and my aims to improve awareness of air pollution, I came to join the ranks of BreezoMeter’s team of environmental superheroes as their Chief Scientist! I believe that environmental research is really important for better regulation which help protects our planet, but when empowered with knowledge, people also do more! I believe that it is my duty as a scientist to pass on the information and knowledge I have to the public. 

Do you have any particular female scientist role models?

If you ask this question to the general public, many people would say Marie Curie as she is maybe the only female scientist known the world over. This is sad because there are many other women that are less known and just did not receive the recognition they deserve. I had several women which inspired me but I would choose Hedy Lamarr who was a great engineer and inventor - she was only recognized for contributions to science and technology recently. 

In your opinion, which changes, if any, are needed in the scientific system to be more attractive to women in science and possible future scientists?

I don't think that the scientific system needs to change in order to be more attractive to women, but rather the way we educate our daughters and sons. We should introduce scientific and engineering contact to both girls and boys at an early age, and thrive to stop gender based bias that we may possess as parents, teachers and educators.     

Do you have any advice for young girls interested in entering scientific professions?

Follow your heart and your dreams, love what you do :-) Don’t stop asking questions, being a scientist is very similar to being a child that always questions the world and never stops learning! (I would say the same thing to boys as well, because I don’t see a difference!!) 
 

Shaked Friedman-Katzir - Senior Algorithm Engineer

 

I am part of the Algorithm team at BreezoMeter - we're focused on improving algorithms and models. My routine includes researching academic work, combined with writing code in Python. We use data management and machine learning tools which enables us to  inspect large datasets and test various new and existing air quality models.

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How did you come to do what you do now? Why did you choose this path?

I've always loved the life and earth sciences, especially biology. At university I studied environmental engineering which is a very "wide" degree - it included courses from many fields, such as the physics, microbiology, ecology, atmospheric sciences, and others. During my time at university I also learned to write code, and found out that I enjoyed it very much. The experience I got in coding and my interest in atmospheric science brought me to work at BreezoMeter.

In your opinion, which changes, if any, are needed  to attract more women to science & open up possible careers as future scientists?

Encourage girls to study science at high school and to get certificates and qualifications in these fields. Expose more girls and women to coding at a young age!  I always imagined it was something I wouldn't like, until I got the chance to learn it properly and put my skills to use.

Do you have any advice for young girls interested in entering scientific professions?

Do what you love. If it's interesting to you - it's worth the effort!
 

Roni Mendelsohn - R&D Team Lead

 
I am a team leader in the R&D team,  a core team consisting of software and environmental engineers, and software engineers that work behind the scenes to develop BreezoMeter’s own systems.
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How did you come to do what you do now? Why did you choose this path?

I started at high school and never looked back. I think computer science is the perfect field for anyone who enjoys solving problems. As a software engineer you get to come up with solutions to diverse problems on a daily basis.

Do you have any advice for young girls interested in entering scientific professions?

Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you want, it doesn’t make you look less smart. Confident people ask questions in order to improve themselves.

Tamar Yacobi - Algorithm Engineer

 

As part of the Algorithm team in BreezoMeter, I work on the scientific aspects of our product – air pollution. This is a huge title for many different projects, including: air pollution modelling, air pollution health effects, research tasks, algorithms development, and many more.

How did you come to do what you do now? Why did you choose this path?

I always had an interest in environmental problems and how to solve them, which is why I studied environmental engineering. I found the air pollution problem to be the one that was really important to me, mainly because we have to breathe the air around us and can't choose to avoid it. As a result, during my MSC studies I focused my attention on air pollution, and when graduating, looked for a place where I could do something meaningful that was connected to the subject. For me, working at BreezoMeter is the best way to raise people’s awareness of the air pollution hazards around them and help them to improve their health.

Do you have any advice for young girls interested in entering scientific professions?

Science has many aspects, and so much of is interesting. Finding the subject that makes you passionate, and study and work in that field, can really make your life interesting!
 

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