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AUS celebrates Emirati female engineers
Women’s achievements in engineering were celebrated at an Emirati Women’s Day event at American University of Sharjah (AUS) recently.
Organized as part of the College of Engineering (CEN) lecture series, in association with the Emirati Cultural Club at AUS, the event featured presentations by Dr. Sameer Al-Asheh, Interim Dean of CEN; Dr. Vian Ahmed, Professor in Industrial Engineering at CEN; Aisha Al-Owais, AUS alumna and Research Assistant at the Sharjah Academy for Astronomy, Spaces Sciences and Technology; and alumnae Fatima Almarei, Hessa Al-Shamsi, Mariam Al-Ketbi and Marwa Altaffag.
Heveine Baban, a quantity surveyor and life coach, gave an inspirational talk on achieving goals, with a clear message that everyone can achieve what they want with the right mindset. A video on UAE women produced by the Emirati Cultural Club at AUS was also shared.
“We wanted to acknowledge and celebrate the participation and contribution of Emirati women in society and empower them to inspire other women and help them realize their ambitions. The event aligns with the theme of the celebrations this year announced by Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, which is ‘Women: Ambitions and Inspiration for Next 50 Years,’” said Dr. Ahmed.
In discussing their achievements, alumnae Almarei, Al-Shamsi, Al-Ketbi and Altaffag said they owed much of their success to the great role their families played in supporting them as they realized their dreams. They also expressed their utmost appreciation of the UAE government for acknowledging the important role of women in the UAE and for providing them all the support that is needed to promote diversity and equality in the workplace. In their message to students and fellow graduates, the panelists said that it is vital “to stay focused on their ultimate goal, develop a good network and never give up.”
Speaking about the importance of this celebration, Dr. Ahmed said: “I believe we should take every opportunity to celebrate our students' achievements, whether male or female. Celebrating women in engineering acknowledges their work, especially as we continue to push for more female participation STEM fields. We want to see our AUS female engineering students assume leadership roles and that is why it is important that we celebrate the achievements of women in leadership positions today.”
Dr. Al-Asheh also emphasized the role of CEN in encouraging women engineers saying: “CEN is renowned for promoting women in engineering. The college advocates for the importance of diversity. It encourages academic, leadership, professional and personal excellence for the entire engineering community. The college carries out various initiatives as part of its lecture series and events in collaboration with external and internal bodies, including but not limited to, the Association of Women Engineers at AUS.”
The AUS College of Engineering is committed to providing an encouraging and supportive environment for women, who are well represented in all the majors offered by the college at both the undergraduate and graduate level. In Fall 2020, there were more women pursuing a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at CEN than men. At the master’s and PhD level, women also outnumbered men in the computer engineering and the engineering systems management programs.
For more information on the AUS College of Engineering, please visit www.aus.edu/cen.