A window into the life of a research scientist
I have always been inspired by great scientists and leaders – people like Einstein and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. When it came to deciding what to study, I knew that I loved math and physics and I wanted to contribute positively to mankind through science. So I decided to do my BSc. in mechanical engineering at Kuwait University and then went on to do my MSc at Northeastern University, Boston Massachusetts, USA. In furthering my education I obtained another MSc in aerospace engineering and PhD in mechanical engineering from the university of Florida at Gainesville , Florida ,USA.
I have known since high school that I wanted to work in an area related to solar energy. I’m really happy that I pursued my passion – it is a very rewarding career. I continuously learn new things. You can achieve great things, while having fun and finding solutions to existing problems that make a positive impact on the planet. I recently took part in a leadership course in the UK, with the Windsor Leadership Trust [LINK] and the British Council. I realised that as women, we really need to support and empower other women in leadership positions, especially if we’re well placed in an organisation.
In my view, the best leaders combine lots of different traits: they’re up to date with scientific knowledge, and seek to expand their knowledge constantly - even through professional volunteering! My advice for other women working in STEM is to stick to it: sure, sometimes a female leader might be delayed in achieving her goals because of balancing family life, career, studies etc. but if she is focused on achieving her vision, she can become a great leader and face any challenge.