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Momentum Member Spotlight ? May 2015
Momentum Member Spotlight – May 2015
AIAA Congratulates Sahr Adel
by Duane Hyland, AIAA Communications
Having illuminated France last month, the Member Spotlight found itself enjoying pointing overseas, and so this month it swept to North Africa, falling on Cairo, Egypt, and highlighting Sahr Adel, an AIAA student member in the Faculty of Engineering at Cairo University.
Adel was her university’s lone student representative at the recently held Cessna Aircraft Company/Raytheon Missile Systems/AIAA Foundation Design/Build/Fly (DBF) Competition in Tucson, Arizona. Despite being the team’s only representative, and despite having some technical difficulties in the actual flight phase of the competition, the entry bested teams from 19 other schools, including entries from Case Western Reserve University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the University of California – Berkeley, and Purdue University, among others in the overall competition. While some of the issues Adel faced were “unavoidable” due to this being the first year her school has competed in the competition, she discovered “that participants from other teams in the competition helped out and became my friends and hopefully will become future collaborators.”
When asked what inspired her to pursue a career in aerospace, Adel gave an answer that hadn’t been heard over the course of the Spotlight column, the classic Hanna-Barbera cartoon “The Jetsons”! She noted that “’The Jetsons’ cartoon TV show made me crazy about flight and gave me passion to study aerospace.” Being a big Jetsons fan myself, I could understand the spark of inspiration she received from the show. She went on to say: “This dream caused some accidents when I tried more than once to fly and learn flying, but after growing up I made the link between my childhood dream and my future.” Adel concluded, “That was the beginning. I decided to study aerospace engineering. I faced some problems with my family because they thought that aerospace engineering has no future in Egypt, but in fact I could not agree with their opinion. This is my dream and I am working on it!”
Adel’s short-term goal is to be an “aircraft designer.” Her long-term goal is to “innovate in the field of aerospace engineering and be an entrepreneur who opens the first private company in Egypt to design, build, and fly aerospace solutions.”
When the conversation turned to the aerospace community helping students fully understand the aerospace industry as well as helping integrate them into it post-graduation, Adel responded, “In Egypt, I think the community needs to sponsor more aerospace activities and introduce the hobby of flight early on. This encouragement will help future innovations and increase the number of students studying in the field.” As for professors helping students, Adel thinks they “should encourage students to participate in competitions,” as well as in more “industry-related problems to link the theoretical studies with practical experience.” Adel believes that AIAA could “help promote students to participate in competitions and regional conferences,” doing so would help them “spread and share experience and knowledge.” She also felt that AIAA could assist student chapters more fully by “sending more information, books, and materials for students.”
When asked if she would encourage other students and schools to get involved in the DBF competition, Adel replied, “Absolutely, yes! DBF is a big competition where individuals can show their work and cooperate with others. It is a playground for student to learn new ideas and to create new networks. The competition welcomes big universities from all over the world and everyone shares experience and helps one another.” She concluded, “DBF is a chance to learn and gain experience.” She pointed out that the faculty at Cairo University felt the same and they “decided we should participate and encouraged students to compete with other international students, to improve knowledge transfer, and to help student’s interdisciplinary skills and learn to cooperate with one another.”
We concluded our interview talking about AIAA, with Adel stating, “AIAA is the most famous organization related to the aerospace field; it is a trusted organization, and it promotes networking for students, professionals, and engineers to gain more experience in the aerospace field.” She concluded by noting “I encourage others to join AIAA because it’s their way to promote their skills and to gain more experience in the aerospace field.” AIAA congratulates Sahr Adel for being the May 2015 AIAA Member Spotlight. We wish her the best in her continuing studies, and hope to see her back at next year’s DBF competition.