"As a child, I wanted to study architecture... but when I had to choose my university studies, I let myself be guided by my father, who had realized the potential technological developments that were to come in the field of materials." Gabriella Faiella, born in Naples in 1981, is currently Customer Fulfillment Coordinator for the Avio Aero plant in Pomigliano d’Arco. And this is how, after the high school, she began her academic studies in Materials Engineering at the University of Naples Federico II.
Immediately after graduation, her studies opened the doors to the world of research and from there to the world of industry, where the research and technological skills she had gradually honed in the field contributed to innovation and sustainability improvements in products made from those materials that she had intensively studied during her university years. Today she works in the aviation industry, which from her very first experiences of working in such a distinctive company as Airbus she identified as her chosen field of action. Her focus today remains on customers in this sector, engine, and aircraft manufacturers, which she works alongside and connects with the other departments within Avio Aero.
Gabriella, what work do you do within the company?
“I act as the interface between the production capability that the company offers and the customer. I interpret and transmit the customer’s needs to the factory and then come back to the customer, creating a cycle that we call from customer to customer.”
Tell us about your professional career...
"After graduating, I received my PhD in Materials and Structural Engineering. I was a visiting researcher at the University of Hamburg for about a year, then my interest in Project Management took me to Bremen, where I was first a consultant and then Project Leader at Altran GmbH. Then, while working in the Materials and Processes department of Airbus, I received the title of Project Management Professional. After four years in Germany, I moved to a metalworking company in Salerno, where I developed a new technology in the field of alternative energies, but in February 2019 I returned to the aviation sector. I was attracted by the high quality and technological standards of Avio Aero."
What interests you about your work?
"The overview is interesting: I’m part of the planning team, which in turn has contact with various company departments, such as Production, Quality and Technology. Not only that: working using the from customer to customer cycle, you start by listening to the customer, you go through the entire production process - from the planning and design of the raw material to the delivery of the finished product - and then return to the customer, personally witnessing their satisfaction.”
Can you name a famous person from the STEM world who you would like to have met?
"Rita Levi Montalcini: One must never give up in life, submit to mediocrity, but rather come out of that 'grey zone' in which everything is habit and passive resignation, [...] one must nurture [...] the courage to rebel.”
At work, what is a phrase that you don't like to hear and what is one that you often repeat?
"I don't like phrases that accuse people instead of attributing problems to real causes; it's not a constructive or problem-solving approach. I believe that the key to success in a work environment is a spirit of collaboration. A good start could be: What do you think about...?"
What advice do you have for a young female student who wants to explore a career in STEM?
“Multiple different experiences abroad are fundamental to acquire not only technical and managerial skills, but also personal skills, such as mental flexibility and communication skills. Curiosity: constantly wondering why phenomena occur, whether scientific or social. Always aiming for the best from your performance, in study and at work, to overcome new limits.
Can you tell us a surprising passion you that your colleagues don't expect?
"I'm afraid it's too engaging a passion for colleagues not to know about it! Since coming back to Italy, I've been part of an experimental theatre workshop and I wouldn't give it up for anything in the world. It's a workout for my spirit."