Aerospace Engineering – Fatima Najeeb Khan:
Let’s talk about Education, Curriculum, Engineering and more with Leadership Award Finalist Fatima Najeeb Khan. Fatima Najeeb Khan is an aerospace engineer currently performing her education, Curriculum, and research services. Ms Khan has been trying to make reforms in specific sectors to improve the quality of teaching and curriculum.
How and why did you choose aerospace engineering, as it is such a different field? How were you inclined to it?
I knew from the beginning that I want to be an engineer. I am talking about when I was a teenager, in 7th or 8th standard, in Muscat, I used to be fascinated by Harley Davidson motorbikes.
I have always been very ambitious throughout my life, I wanted to be an airforce officer, but I wasn’t very interested in flying. So all my fascination was attached to know more about these flying machines named aeroplanes.
I even remember collecting data about them. From there, I knew that I wanted to be an Aerospace engineer/ Aeronautical engineer. Also, I was fortunate to have supportive parents. They never second-guessed my decisions.
Tell us about your journey of pursuing a career in Aerospace Engineering:
After completing my A-levels, I came to Pakistan, Karachi. My aim was to be inducted into the airforce. I got enrolled in a licensed course related to Aircraft maintenance, where I met Adeeba Ghazal. I completed my certification in avionics and received a gold medal for my high achievements.
After that, I wanted to do more research work. To do that, I went to England, Wales. From there, I completed my bachelor’s in aeronautical and mechanical engineering.
I did my Masters in Aerospace Engineering from the Glyndŵr University in Wales, which is quite renowned for aeronautical studies. After that, I wanted to come back to Pakistan to contribute to my country’s well-being.
Since then, I have been serving as a lecturer in a private university for the last five years. I teach students about Aircraft maintenance and technology. In addition, I have served as a program director and brought reforms to strengthen the role of women in fields like my own.
What is your point of view about women’s role in Pakistan’s civil aviation sector? Are there enough resources to facilitate them?
While there is a lot of exposure to technology, the students still need guidance. All influence can not be obtained from social media platforms alone.
The first institution we are born into is a home. Therefore, our involvement in their lives as parents is necessary to shape their personalities and instil those essential characteristics that will help them stay consistent all their lives.
We need to tell them it is alright to fail and that success does not just happen overnight. Also, we need to teach empathy and not sympathy by showing how the students can help out the other person without pitying them.
Kindness, decisiveness, and valuing time are other good traits that need to be delivered and not just imparted to them.
I advise the students to be passionate and ambitious in what they choose. However, I do not see if there is a scope in the field you opt for.
“Scope is something that you decide for yourself. Otherwise, you will remain a brick in the wall due to this mediocracy that you have chosen for yourself. Do not expect life to be exceptional for you when you do nothing exceptional yourself”.
What reforms do you think are needed to enhance the role of women in this area?
“I do agree there are gender-specific roles. However, they are only roles, not careers.”
Educational institutions do not limit female intake. Nonetheless, some reforms are needed in the industry, and others are required at the home level. Do not categorise a field in terms of gender.
If a female goes into higher education and joins a technical field specifically, then let your child grow into her own space and develop a spark within herself. Do not enforce your decisions on your children because they might get a degree at the end of the day, but they will grow into depressed individuals.
What will be your recommended institutions for kids or our youth if someone would like to pursue aviation?
Related to aviation management, also called Aviation business and Aviation Sciences. Enables a person to manage Aviation business, manage Airlines, run airports, control air traffic, and even look after the safety and security of airports.
- The Institute of Aviation Studies, a part of the University of Management and Technology, Lahore
- The University of Lahore
- University of Sialkot
- PAF-KIET, Karachi
If you have a very technical outlook and like working with hardware and disassembling things and putting them back together, aircraft maintenance is the field. It is an on-field sort of work where you work on an aircraft and its different systems.
- Institute of Aviation studies in University of Management and Technology, Lahore.
- Superior University, in Lahore
- The University of Lahore
The third category of aviation education available in Pakistan involves designing airspace engineering and avionics engineering.
- National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST)
- Institute of Space Technology
- Air University
What are your future aspirations? What will be your future goals?
I will pursue a doctoral degree in aerospace engineering. I feel that technology advancement is something overlooked in Pakistan. Therefore, I plan to set my feet into technology, research, and education.
Your message to our readers?
“Be kind and let people dream and explore. Create an environment that generates opportunities for both genders. Together let us work for the betterment of Pakistan and Humanity in general, setting aside our agendas.”
Hear from the Leadership Award Finalist Fatima Najeeb Khan herself about Aerospace engineering in the video below: