Celebrating Women in Engineering

June 23, 2018 is International Women in Engineering Day. In honor of this day, we asked our authors & editors to share their experiences as women in the engineering fields. Read on to find exclusive interviews & explore the research on women in the STEM fields. 

Dr. Elisabete Arsenio, PhD

ElisabeteArsenio © SpringerEditorial Board Member and Co-Author, European Transport Research Review 

Leader - ECTRI Transport Economics & Policies Group,

Ambassador member - Association for European Transport,

Laboratório Nacional de Engenharia Civil (LNEC), Portugal


Tell us about your background. 
My first degree is in Civil Engineering (IST - Instituto Superior Técnico, Technical University of Lisbon). I also have a Master's Degree in Urban and Regional Planning coordinated by the ISEG Lisbon School of Economics and Management and IST (Technical University of Lisbon). I was awarded an Erasmus grant to do part of the Master at the University of Liverpool, UK. After a national competition in science and technology, I was awarded a Ph.D. grant by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology to do my Ph.D. at the Institute for Transport Studies (ITS) University of Leeds in the UK - this was the place I selected as the first option due to its recognized international excellence in transport research. My Ph.D. thesis was related to the valuation of environmental transport related externalities using discrete choice models. I am proud of my achievements.

Why did you become an engineer? 
I was born in the great city of Guarda in Portugal. My nickname at school was "engineer"  because I was solving complex problems as head of the class. I had high marks in mathematics and physics and received two prizes for the best student in the two final years before entering the university. My fields of interest were not only related to engineering but also with philosophy and other sciences as complementary readings. My parents' advice when I was 17 years old was to choose engineering.

What advice would you give to young women interested in engineering? 
I suggest young women interested in engineering to contact and visit universities and research institutes in the field, e.g. members of the ECTRI- European Conference of Transport Research Institutes. ECTRI is the leading European research association for sustainable and multimodal mobility. As a woman and leader of the ECTRI Transport Economics and Policies Group of ECTRI, my advice is for young women to consider transport related sciences and contribute to answering our societal challenges. More women working in transport engineering may mean a more inclusive and fair profession in the future.


Discover Elisabete's work published in European Transport Research Review© Springer​​​​​​​

Assessing the market potential of electric bicycles and ICT for low carbon school travel: a case study in the Smart City of ÁGUEDA

by Elisabete Arsenio, Joana V. Dias, Sofia Azeredo Lopes and Helena Iglésias Pereira


Topical collection editorial:  Driving societal changes towards an electromobility future

by Pierluigi Coppola and Elisabete Arsenio 


Read more inspirational stories:

Find 6 more stories by Springer authors & editors, access 3 chapters on historical women who paved the way for modern engineers & the research behind the status of women in the STEM fields. 

AdobeStock_193056958 © Totostarkk9456 / stock.adobe.com