Celebrating WOMEN IN SCIENCE: Interview with Margaret Costa

February 9, 2020



Margaret Costa is responsible for the design, implementation and continuous improvement of the Quality Management System of INL and provides support to the Management Board through the coordination of INL operations securing proper planning and follow-up and agile decision-making processes.

From 2011 to 2016, she was a Research Engineer, being responsible for the development of micro and nanofabrication processes in the field of Lithography and contributing to the management of the cleanroom facility.

Can you tell us a bit about your background and why a career change?

I am a Chemical Engineer and started my professional career in the semiconductors industry as a process owner, focusing on process development and control, product quality assurance and production capacity increase.

I joined INL at the time of its construction and my role was to launch the cleanroom facility, together with a team of experts, more precisely, performing equipment installations and trainings, setting up and controlling the microfabrication processes and providing engineering support to internal and external facility users.

My career move from a technical to a management function was, I would say, a natural move.

Back in 2015, INL was a fully established organisation with its activities running at a steady-state but willing to take a further step and implement a quality assurance culture and a system that would ensure the satisfaction of its stakeholders. I had the great opportunity to lead this new field of activity. Getting outside my comfort zone fostered my creativity, made me be more flexible and learn new concepts.

What is the importance of your work for an organisation like INL?

The quality mindset is key to success at all levels, professional and personal, and it is the way to build trust with partners and peers by ensuring we deliver what is expected.

INL has a broad scope of activities from research to innovation and management and the quality management system is an essential tool to plan, implement, control, improve processes and reach operational excellence. Beyond the quality management activities, I also work closely with INL Management Board through the coordination of INL operations securing proper planning and an agile decision-making process.



What has been your greatest achievement in quality management? 

Definitely, the certification of the Quality Management System according to the ISO 9001:2015 standard was a milestone! It was the recognition of INL commitment to meet stakeholders expectations and to deliver results of exceptional value.

But, looking back on this journey, it is the involvement of all INLers in the deployment of our quality culture that is THE main achievement and my main source of motivation to pursue this path.