Get to know : Daniela Gavagnin

Head of pioneer research – RHI Magnesita  


How would you describe yourself in two sentences? 

I am an energetic, empathic, and pro-active leader with strong project management skills and experience. I enjoy building and working in interdisciplinary and cross-functional teams and networks. I’m passionate about progress and sustainability!!  


What are you currently working on? 

I head an interdisciplinary team working on innovative solutions for refractories. We currently prioritize recycling and sustainable transformation within the high-temperature industry..  


Did you always want to work in science? How were you introduced to it?    

I simply wanted to do (first study then work on) something that never becomes boring. 


Why is it relevant to talk about gender equality in science? 

It is relevant because we do NOT have gender equality in all STEM fields around the globe. Diversity has been shown to enhance business performance. Gender contributes to diversity. 


In your career, did you face problems linked to your gender? What progress have you seen on gender equality in your life and work?   

Yes, I have experienced and continue to encounter varying treatment based on my gender. I’ve noticed progress! More women now hold positions in science and leadership since I began working in refractories more than 11 years ago. These women serve as examples, inspiring and encouraging others to pursue careers in science, technology, and leadership.” 


Who is your woman scientist inspiration? 

Marie Curie because she never gave up. 


What is the most motivating/exciting aspect of your job?   

I am highly motivated by the pursuit of progress, and I willingly embrace risks and responsibilities for this purpose. Progress manifests in various forms. It could involve discovering unique technical solutions, building a new professional network or business. Part of progress is also contributing to cultural change and coaching colleagues in their personal growth. Last but not least, our industry’s diverse applications provide continuous learning opportunities. 


What message could you give to the young generation?    

Don’t be shy—keep asking and share your opinion! 

This project has received funding from
the European Union's Horizon Europe
research and innovation program under
grant agreement no.101072625