Wafa Ansari has secured a role as an aerospace engineer with Rolls Royce, ahead of graduating from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) today.
The 24-year-old from Riyadh in Saudi Arabia was thrilled to be offered the job straight after finishing her Aeronautical Engineering MSc with distinction.
She will be designing aero-engines for Rolls Royce, working on the latest software technology being developed by the company. “I was really thrilled to be offered this position,” Wafa said. “My first week at Rolls Royce was great and everyone was so welcoming.
“I am training on the job with two engineers and know I’m going to get loads of experience. I feel very positive in this new role, as my assignments at DMU helped me gain the basic skills for this role.
“I am really looking forward to working on the new technology which will pioneer the aviation and aerospace industry to new heights. I will be working with the control systems and software team, employing MBSD (Model Based System Design) on a MATLAB Simulink simulator for developing aero-engines.”
Wafa was the only graduate to join the company from DMU this year, where she had been the only female in her class out of 20 other aeronautical engineering students.
She said: “This is initially a two-year project at Rolls Royce, but then the next three years involve verification and testing of equipment.”
Full of praise for her DMU course and the variety it offered, Wafa said: “I received amazing support from DMU and the programme leader, Dr Dani Harmanto, who was always on hand to advise and assist.”
While at DMU, Wafa also worked on electric propulsion engines for aircraft, which was the subject of her MSc thesis. “I was delighted when it was selected as the best dissertation project in aeronautical and mechanical engineering,” she said.
Wafa joined her course at DMU last September, prior to which she completed her bachelor’s in aerospace engineering.
“I was keen to study in the UK as it offered me better career opportunities than in Saudi Arabia,” she said.
“When I was applying to universities, one of the key attractions of DMU was that they had a flight simulator, which only three universities in the UK have. I saw they also had really good lab facilities, as well as other advantages. I have really loved being at Leicester and DMU.”
One of six children, Wafa is the only engineer in her family. Her four sisters and one brother are all doctors.
Always fascinated by engineering and flight, studying engineering was the natural progression for Wafa. “Whenever we flew anywhere on holiday with my family, during the long flights, I would ponder how these big bird-like machine sustained in air for so long,” she said.
“I would have loved to be a pilot, but at five foot tall, I’m sadly, too short.”
Alongside her course, DMU also offered Wafa a chance to explore an extra-curricular pastime, allowing her to apply her engineering skills to race cars. During her final year, she joined DMU Racing, the university’s Formula Student team, getting involved in design and manufacturing aspects.
“We built a one-seater race car from scratch in the DMU workshop, which was great fun and involved most of us students working hands on,” she said.
A particularly proud moment was when Wafa and her team took part with their car in the international Annual Formula Student Competition at Silvestone, coming in sixth place out of 115 universities worldwide.
“DMU has offered me so many opportunities,” Wafa said.” I feel I have grown and learnt so much.”
Posted on Thursday 16th February 2023