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Workshop for women scientists

Workshop Synopsis: Accelerating parity: Workshop for women scientists with networking, skills building and global dialogue

Curious about how senior women scientists from around the world navigate their careers? The 2024 ISPT preconference workshop for women scientists is designed by the Elsevier Foundation and the Chinese Women’s Association for Science & Technology (CWAST) to offer networking, international exposure, skills building and a rich dialogue between international women keynote speakers and Chinese women scientists. Led by Elsevier publisher, Luaine Bandounas and CWAST host, Prof. Dr. Qun Xu the workshop offers a 3.5 hour space for discussion, learning and networking to help kick off your ICPT conference experience.

Participants: 50 women scientists expected

  • Elsevier Co-Host & Workshop Lead: Dr Luaine Bandounas, Executive Publisher

  • CWAST Co-Host: Prof. Dr Qun Xu, Zhengzhou University

  • Elsevier CWAST Partnership lead & Panel Moderator: Xiaoling Kang, Director, Global Strategic Networks, Elsevier

  • Workshop Lead: Shanshan Qu, Publishing Ethics Expert, Elsevier

  • Keynote speaker and Elsevier Editor: Prof. Qilin Li, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Rice University

  • Panelists:

    • Prof. Dr Qun Xu, Zhengzhou University

    • Prof. Raquel Aires-Barros, Professor, Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), Lisbon (Elsevier Editor)

    • Prof. Qilin Li, Professor, Rice University (Elsevier Editor)






Welcome & Introduction

Welcome participants

Briefly introduce the workshop's objectives and desired outcomes.

Dr Luaine Bandounas, Elsevier host

Prof. Dr Qun Xu, CWAST host


Elsevier Foundation & CWAST Partnership

Share goals and background of CWAST Elsevier Foundation partnership to support women Scientists in China

Xiaoling Kang


Keynote Speaker

Invite a prominent woman researcher or expert to share insights and experiences.

Q&A session to allow participants to ask questions and engage with the speaker.

Prof Qilin Li, Civil and Environmental Engineering Rice University


Future Editors: Skill Development Workshop

Offer an interactive session on how to become an editor of an international journal and develop seniority in that role.

Dr Luaine Bandounas, Executive Publisher, Elsevier


Break and Networking

Break and Networking


Skill development workshop

Research Integrity and research Ethics: navigating ethical issues

Shanshan Qu, Publishing Ethics Expert, Elsevier


Panel Discussion

Panel of successful women researchers to discuss their career journeys and challenges and share advice.

Open the floor for questions and audience interaction.

Moderator: Xiaoling Kang, Director, GSN Elsevier


Prof. Raquel Aires-Barros, Professor, Bioengineering at Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), Lisbon

Prof. Qilin Li, Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering Rice University

Prof. Dr. Qun Xu, Zhengzhou University.



Gather feedback from participants to improve future workshops.

Xiaoling Kang



Thank the participants for their attendance and participation.

Provide resources for further support, such as presentations, online courses or relevant organizations.

Continue networking at conference wine reception

Dr Luaine Bandounas

Prof. Dr. Qun Xu

Panel discussion Questions

  • Can you share a brief overview of your career journey and the milestones that lead you to where you are today?

  • Can you share a key experience or opportunity that significantly influenced your career?

  • What role has mentorship played in your career? Do you have any advice for women seeking mentors?

  • What advice would you give to women who are just beginning their careers? Especially if they’re hesitant due to the perceived barriers in the field?

  • How can women in science advocate for themselves and their work in a predominantly male industry? Any insights into how you navigate the professional landscape?

  • What changes or initiatives would you like to see to encourage more women to pursue and stay in science careers?

  • From Elsevier’s recent Gender Report, we have seen that the number of women globally involved in patents is low with two-thirds of patent applications are filed by teams consisting only of men. What has been your experience or observations around women researchers translating their research into innovation.

  • How have you balanced your personal life with the demands of your career?

Prof. Dr. Qun Xu is a professor of College of Materials Science & Engineering, Institute of Advanced Technology in Zhengzhou University. She obtained her PhD in Physical Chemistry from Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Science in 1999 and after that she pursued a postdoctoral work in Karlsruhe Nuclear Centre in Germany.

Now she directs a research group in Zhengzhou University, and their research is focused in designing and discovering advanced functional nanomaterials for energy storage and conversion. She focuses on the design, synthesis and performance exploration of novel nanostructures via utilization of CO2, including supercritical CO2 (SC CO2)-induced epitaxy of polymer, SC CO2-assisted synthesis of 2D materials and 2D amorphous materials. She has published more than 200 papers in Nature Commun. Angew.Chem.Int.Ed, Adv. Mater., ACS Nano, Adv.Funct.Mater, etc., and some are ESI highly cited papers and Hot Papers. Her h-index is 62.

She was nominated Chinese Youth Woman Scientist in 2008. In 2009 she obtained the Distinguished Lectureship Award from the Chemical Society of Japan. In 2010, her work was highlighted as Noteworthy Chemistry in American Chemical Society.

Professor Dr. Qun Xu [CWAST Co Host]

Dr. Qilin Li is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and Materials Science and Nanoengineering at Rice University. She serves as the Associate Director for Research for the NSF Nanosystems Engineering Research Center for Nanotechnology Enabled Water Treatment (NEWT). Dr. Li received her B.E. degree in Environmental Engineering from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Environmental Engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and her post-doctoral training at Yale University. Dr. Li’s research focuses on advanced materials and novel processes for desalination and water treatment and reuse, and sustainable urban water systems. She is a Fellow of the International Water Association (IWA) and served as the chair for the IWA Nano&Water Specialist Group Managing Committee. Dr. Li was an Associate Editor of Water Research and is currently a co-editor of Desalination and Frontier of Environmental Science and Engineering. She was also a member of the US EPA Science Advisory Board’s Environmental Engineering Committee. She is the recipient of CAPEES/Nonova Frontier Research Award, the Rice University Hershel M. Rich Invention Award, American Water Summit Tech Idol, and Tsinghua University Pengcheng Scholar, and Rice University Roy E. Campbell Faculty Development Award.

Qilin Li

Raquel Aires-Barrosis a Full Professor at the Department of Bioengineering at Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) and Senior Researcher at Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences (iBB), Associate Laboratory i4HB—Institute for Health and Bioeconomy. She is a Chemical Engineering from IST, with a MSc in Biochemical Engineering and a Ph.D. both at IST. Was a Research Assistant in Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1986-1987. Coordinates the scientific-pedagogical area of Biomolecular and Bioprocessing Engineering of Bioengineering Department at IST and is Vice-President of IST School Board. Current research interests include the development of new separation processes with high performance and efficiency for purification biopharmaceuticals, with special emphasis on the purification of antibodies and the development of devices- "Lab-on-a-Chip" - for protein purification / separation of cells in the microscale. She is chair of the Session of Downstream Processing (DSP) of the European Society of Biochemical Engineering Sciences (ESBES), President of the Portuguese Society for Biotechnology and editor of Separation and Purification Technology Journal. Has been involved in the coordination/participation of several European projects, and in Scientific and Organising Committees of International Conferences in the area of bioseparation. Supervised more than 70 masters and PhD dissertations and is author of more than 200 papers and book chapters.

Raquel Aires-Barros