Back The inaugural lecture of the School of Engineering focuses on the evolution of the role of women in technological fields
The inaugural lecture of the School of Engineering focuses on the evolution of the role of women in technological fields
Mònica Roca, Telecommunications engineer and founder and director of the company isardSAT, was the speaker at the inaugural lecture of the 2023-2024 academic year. Roca also highlighted the importance of enjoying the learning path, whichever the dreams and objectives.
The inaugural lecture of the undergraduate degrees of the UPF School of Engineering, held yesterday on the Poblenou campus, focused on the evolution of the role of women in technological fields and the importance of enjoying the journey, regardless of the dreams and objectives.
Entitled “Is the goal important? A stroll through space”, Mònica Roca reviewed her working and personal life in which she has shown that, despite some dreams not always coming true, new ones can be aroused if you work passionately.
Mònica Roca presented us with a journey through her career, explaining to the students her passion for being an astronaut, which she had from a very young age and which, consequently, led to a great many of her decisions being chosen in pursuit of this goal. “It is important to dream and have major goals, but you need to be able to enjoy the journey and make heart-felt decisions”, she said in this regard.
She studied Telecommunications Engineering at the ETSETB of the UPC, as she considered that, at that time, it was the degree that came closest to topics related to space technologies. After finishing her degree, she won a scholarship to work for the European Space Agency in Noordwijk (Netherlands).
It is there that she came closest to achieving her dream, as it helped her to be in constant contact with her great passion: she became the head of the radar system of the EnviSat European satellite.
After some time, when she returned to Catalonia, she founded the company isardSAT, which is devoted to providing solutions to challenges such as climate change through observing Earth from space. IsardSAT involves physicists, mathematicians and engineers, who are already some sixty in number, and the company continues to grow.
“Some might think I’ve missed out on much of my life chasing an impossible dream. Of my three opportunities to become an astronaut, for the first I still hadn’t graduated as an engineer, for the second I was pregnant with my first child, and for the third I was already only two years over the maximum permissible age”. Despite everything, Mònica Roca has insisted on how little and highly important her decisions have been throughout her life. “We don’t have a crystal ball; you have to choose what you’re passionate about. You'll see the journey will be worth it”.