Monica Duca Widmer

1959

Chemical engineer and vice chair of the board of the Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (ENSI), Brugg

"I’m proud that I’ve had my own engineering firm for 26 years, in a field that was initially unheard of."

My career path

I’m a chemical engineer. After gaining experience in the international food industry, I specialized in process engineering and safety in the area of environmental protection from 1990 onwards. In 1992, I set up EcoRisana SA ; we provide expertise in environmental remediation, waste disposal and safety.

I’m fascinated by technology and how projects and businesses are managed. I like the variety in my work and that I can always learn new things.

My career path. After graduating as a chemical engineer from ETH in Zurich (ETHZ) and getting my doctorate from the Università degli Studi di Milano, I undertook further training at the Center for Corporate Governance at the University of St. Gallen and also studied safety in chemical and process engineering plants at ETHZ. Alongside my scientific work, I’ve gained experience in managing a variety of companies and foundations. I’m vice president of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences (SATW) and chair of the Administrative Board of Migros for Ticino. I’m involved with a number of foundations promoting research into scientific fields and am a member of the Swiss Society of Engineers and Architects (SIA), Swiss Engineering (STV) and the Swiss Association of Women Engineers (SVIN). I was working for the food industry, but when my first son was born, I had to change jobs and find a solution that was compatible with my family life. On the whole, it was a lot of hard work and very long hours. In my support system, I had my mother-in-law, who looked after my children whenever an emergency came up, and my husband who “silently accepted” the situation.

A downside or obstacle ? Innovation is held back by the ever-growing number of directives. And people continue to believe that engineering isn’t for women, which means there are few women in my field.

I’m proud that I’ve had my own engineering firm for 26 years, in a field that was initially unheard of. I always see solutions, not problems.

The Proust Questionnaire

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Au-delà de votre profession

La recherche et la formation en particulier dans les domaines techniques.

Des personnes qui vous inspirent

Rita Levi Montalcini et Daniel Barenboim.

Un livre & un film

Poèmes (Hafez) et Le vent tourne (Bettina Oberli).

Un modèle

D’autres femmes, avec famille, actives professionnellement m’ont convaincue que c’était possible.

Un objet

Une toupie

Une couleur

Le jaune

Un rêve

La paix dans le monde.