Jakarta – BRIN Public Relations. March 8 is celebrated as International Women’s Day. Based on UNESCO data, women’s participation in science is still low. Female researchers make up only 30 percent of researchers worldwide. Similar conditions are also reflected in Indonesia, in which the world of research is still dominated by men.

BRIN Chief Secretary, Nur Tri Aries Suestiningtyas, revealed that of 12 thousand BRIN employees, the number of female employees only reaches 35 percent.

“Currently BRIN has 12,672 employees, 65 percent of whom are men, and the rest 35 percent are women,” said Nur Tri.

Referring to this condition, the Talk to Scientist webinar series which is routinely held by BRIN, this time, Tuesday (08/03) presented a theme Woman in Science, which promotes the achievements made by female researchers. This webinar is expected to be an inspiration for all researchers, especially women and the younger generation to be able to take part in the world of research.

Dream of Building a Hydrogen City

One of BRIN researchers who excels in her field and receives international awards is Eniya Listiani Dewi. The researcher in the field of Electrochemical Process Technology has long dreamed of building a hydrogen city, a city whose entire energy source comes from hydrogen.

Energy transition, which is one of the focuses of the G20 event, according to her, should be the momentum for Indonesia to prepare clean energy, if Indonesia wants to achieve Net Zero Emission (NZE) by 2060.

Talking about science, Eniya shared her inspiration that what she does now started from the motivation from her thesis supervisor when she studied at Waseda University. At that time, her teaching professor said that what she was doing was actually imitating what God had created.

Eniya discovered a new catalyst, in which there is a process of reducing oxygen to H2O.

“This process is actually a process in our body to capture oxygen in hemoglobin and then convert it into H2O. The catalyst that imitates this process is not easy, as I had to go through various experiments,” said this Magelang-born woman.

When she returned to Indonesia after earning her doctorate degree, she admitted that many were pessimistic about the continuation of her research.

“Many friends doubted it that if I was to return to Indonesia, I would have no money, my scientific level would go down, and I would not be famous. It made me feel a little hurt,” she recalled.

However, this doubt has become a motivation for this winner of the 2019 General Electric Inspiring Woman in STEM Award to remain consistent in the field she involves in. Now she has earned the academic title research professor.

Until now, Eniya and her team have been developing a hydrogen fuel cell that she has pioneered since year 2003, by converting hydrogen compounds into electricity through an electrochemical process.

In developing this fuel cell and hydrogen research, Eniya formed several research groups, including the biohydrogen group, thermochemical hydrogen production, fuel cell, green hydrogen production and system, and hydrogen storage.

According to her, the hardest thing in the world of research is consistency. “The hardest experience is consistency to produce products or findings. The findings should be appreciated or applied, so that make them an added value,” she said.

More specifically in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), Eniya regrets that currently only 19 percent of female researchers have a career in the STEM fields. She encourages the younger generation to take part in the world of research, to welcome 100 years of Indonesia’s independence in 2045.

“Productive population also needs to have adequate knowledge in the STEM fields. Without knowledge or technical qualifications, the demographic bonus is just a number,” she concluded (tnt).