This month we sat down with Electrical Engineer Felishya Ibrahim to find out how she got into the MEP industry and what she believes the rest of the world can learn from the UAE.
1. What was it that appealed about MEP that made you want to take it up as a career?
I graduated as an electrical engineer and came to Dubai not knowing what the city had in store for me. I had never thought about a career in MEP then. Like anybody who visits Dubai, what fascinated me the most was its amazing skyscrapers and the pace at which these structures were being built. What also attracted me was the plethora of opportunities that this opened up for a young engineer like me and so began my career in MEP
2. How has MEP changed in recent years?
Technological advancement in design tools and the shift from CAD to BIM modelling has given rise to a new wave in visualisation of building services designs and contributed to fool-proof design output.
3. What is good design practice?
It is said that “Good design, when it’s done well, becomes invisible. It’s only when it’s done poorly that we notice it.”
Good design practice should be able to translate design theories into functional form that work in the real world with focus on performance and usability.
4. If you had one piece of advice for aspiring engineers, what would it be?
Never be afraid to take decisions or do something that pushes you to step outside your comfort zone. The sooner you do that, the sooner you’ll realise that you can take any challenge head-on and you’ll come out stronger on the other side. Expect the unexpected and keep pace with changes.
5. What frustrates you most about MEP today?
Last minute changes in design often as a result of changes in architecture or the structural components sometimes leaves little or no time for co-ordination between the various MEP disciplines which can be very frustrating.
6. What are the biggest opportunities for MEP to make a difference?
MEP engineers have to react to both changes in external conditions and the patterns of behaviour inside a building – both of which are constantly changing. The only way in which we can address this challenge will be by embracing the change and working differently.
7. What influences your work?
I find inspiration all around me. My colleagues, my team leader, friends from the industry, everyone in one way or the other has influenced my work and I have been fortunate to have had some great mentors throughout my career.
8. What can MEP in this region teach the rest of the world? And vice versa, what can we in this region learn from the rest of the world?
Completing large scale projects efficiently and effectively within short time scales without compromising quality is what we can teach. What we can learn from the rest of the world is the technological advancements in achieving environment friendly designs that can be integrated to meet sustainable goals
9. What has been your greatest source of pride to date?
In a demanding industry, being a working mum and maintaining a good work life balance is challenging. I can say with confidence that in the course of my career I have been able to strike the right balance between the two and that is my biggest pride.