March 8, a woman on the front line for fusion energy

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March 8, a woman on the front line for fusion energy

Work on the front line to make the most ambitious dream for clean energy production a reality: fusion. “There comes a moment in life when you have to give something. I have received so much of everything, from Peru where I was born to Europe where I live now: the point is to give a payback to society and to life”, Milena Roveda tells ANSA , CEO of Gauss Fusion, a company created in 2022 by companies from France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

It is now working to select possible locations for the first European fusion power plant capable of feeding one gigawatt of energy into the electricity grid. Hers is a sector “in which women are still few, but those who work there are very well trained”, observes Roveda. The examples he has in mind are Fabiola Gianotti who is at the helm of Cern, and Paola Batistoni, head of the Development and promotion of fusion section of Enea.

Working in a frontier sector such as fusion energy is a challenge for which Roveda works full time: “all day, seven days a week”. From Germany, where he lives, he is now in Italy: “I'm in Venice on holiday, but for me this just means working while looking at the sea”. Work was her life choice: “I have great respect for women who have chosen to have a family and combine it with a career. I couldn't, my choice was to dedicate myself to my work”. It's a decision he made very early, right from his childhood years and then from his first work experiences in Peru, where his Italian father had moved from Biella with his family when he was very young.

After the German school in Lima and the beginning of her working life, in an era in which “seeing a woman working they asked me if I was someone's secretary”, her career as a manager began in the pharmaceutical sector. He soon took her to Europe, first to Britain, Germany and then Milan. “There I discovered my roots and began to feel Italian.”

Then came the decision to completely change the sector. Dealing with fusion was a radical change: “this project interested me very much from the beginning”, above all because dealing with a topic like this means “doing something for the generations that come after us. Fusion – he concluded – will be the turning point of humanity. Once we have it on the electricity grid, it will be a defeat of poverty.”

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