Solvay’s Sylvaine Neveu has been awarded France’s Irène Joliot-Curie 2016 award for her innovative work in the field of energy-saving tyres and for her promotion of gender equality in the industry.
Neveu, a Researcher in the Group’s Silica Global Business Unit, was honored in the ‘Women, Research and Enterprise’ category of the awards, which are organised by the French Ministry of Education, Higher Education and Research.
For more than twelve years, Neveu has managed key value projects for Solvay, the most significant of which led to the development of a new silica for low-energy pneumatic applications.
In addition, she also operates a platform dedicated to the eco-friendly silica process. These projects are fully in line with the Solvay’s sustainable development approach and over 30 percent of the world’s tyres are made with 'green' silica.
Promoting gender equality
In addition, Neveu was singled-out for her instrumental achievement in attaining perfect gender parity in her team. When she was first appointed, her team comprised only 20 percent of women.
"I am keen to share my knowledge and skills to promote the development of my team and of those who come to me for advice, without any discrimination. I hope to be a role model for other women in my career and also for men who still hesitate to promote women to management positions," Neveu explained.
“Flawless professionalism and skills”
Neveu graduated from Chimie ParisTech and holds a PhD in Process Engineering from the Ecole des Mines de Paris. She joined Solvay in 1994 and she has authored 17 patent families and leads the department in charge of the development and industrialisation of new silica products and processes.
Since 2008, Sylvaine has been working on projects to reduce the energy footprint and water consumption in the production of Solvay silicas.
"We are very proud to have Sylvaine in our Silica business. Through her flawless professionalism and skills, she was able to bring innovation to a higher level with the help of her teams at Silica. This award is a true recognition of her scientific work and her outstanding leadership," said An Nuyttens, President of the Global Silica Business Unit at Solvay.
Promoting the role of women
The Irène Joliot-Curie award is intended to promote the role of women in research and technology in France. It highlights the exemplary careers of women scientists who combine excellence and dynamism.
The ‘Women, Research and Enterprise’ category distinguishes a woman active in research and development, who developed scientific and/or technological innovations working in a company committed to promoting diversity.