International Women in Engineering Day: UAE’s female engineers strive for recognition – The National

International Women in Engineering Day: UAE’s female engineers strive for recognition – The National

A growing number of women in the UAE are graduating with an engineering degree, but many are still struggling to find employment.

The International Women in Engineering Day, which falls each year on June 23, aims to honour women working in engineering fields.

The day was formed by the Women’s Engineering Society, a UK-based charity group established in 1919 to support those who had carved out careers in technical fields during the war years but were preventing from continuing on their path by law changes regarding female employment following the end of the conflict.

In the UAE, 44.5 per cent of engineering undergraduates are females. At the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, 40 per cent of the staff are women.

With the country’s space and other technical sectors booming, engineering remains a popular choice for students, however this also makes the market competitive.

The National spoke to women engineers about the work experience they have gained through internships and the challenges they face in securing full-time employment.

Mechanical engineer

Ashwaq Saleh, 22, is an Emirati mechanical engineering graduate from Khalifa University and hopes to work in the UAE’s space sector.

She has completed a six-month internship with BAE Systems’ Applied Intelligence Labs, a UK-based firm that mainly works with the European Space Agency to communicate with spacecrafts in deep space and retrieve their data.

She helped design a tracking, telemetry and command processor, as well designed a replacement of the switch matrix unit that is used on it.

Maryam Al Nuaimi (left) and Ashwaq Saleh are hoping to join UAE's space sector as engineers. Courtesy: Ms Al Nuaimi 
Maryam Al Nuaimi (left) and Ashwaq Saleh are hoping to join UAE’s space sector as engineers.
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