Nida Farid is a graduate in Aerospace Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Master in Mechanical Engineering from ETHZurich, Switzerland. She has all the knowledge, and enthusiasm to prove
Nida Farid is a graduate in Aerospace Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Master in Mechanical Engineering from ETHZurich, Switzerland. She has all the knowledge, and enthusiasm to prove that with hard work and perseverance women can conquer the world. Nida is a proficient in aircraft manufacturing, wind energy, power segments and energy conservation.
Nida decided on her dream early on and has not looked back ever since. She believes this is one profession where inspiration hits you in your childhood. Her mother’s side of the family is from India and she travelled very frequently when she was young and had always found planes magical. They connected her family and became a source of great fascination for Nida.
In our society, entering an unconventional profession for women is not easy and it was no different with Nida too. When her parents learned about her aspirations to join the aerospace industry, she was met with a barrage of questions and concerns aimed at dissuading her. In response, she proposed even more outrageous options, ranging from international diplomacy to war reporting. Finally, Nida succeeded in convincing her parents to let her go to MIT for the programme of her choice.
Since graduating, Nida has made immense contribution to the field of aerospace engineering. She has been the programme manager for manufacturing the electro-structural components of the plane in Switzerland. Currently, she is working as an alternate energy consultant and specialises in wind energy. Given that she was trained to be part of the aerospace industry, it’s only appropriate that the sky is the limit for her!
The time Nida spent on the high-profile Airbus project in Switzerland was memorable, particularly when the reaction of the locals at finding out that a Pakistani woman was working in their midst. Muslim women are often thought to be uneducated and repressed, and the locals were quite surprised to discover that Nida was both a Pakistani and a Muslim.
In realising her dream, Nida has faced with many hurdles, because the field is so male dominated. She often had to try harder to be taken seriously. Her peers at university often thought women had it easy because of the quota system and refused to accept that women were as good as them, if not better. When women venture into professions that are traditionally considered the domain of men, they are often deemed inept until they prove themselves.
In Pakistan, often students choose their universities and careers at a time in life when they may be unaware of what the practical world is like and are still exploring their interests and aptitudes. Many people make bad decisions and have to end up living with them. In Nida’s case her parents were not concerned about the job prospects that would be available for her after graduation.
In Pakistan, parents encourage their children to follow safe and conventional professions like medicine, engineering and accounting because they feel that would ensure a secure future. Any inclination in a child to enter a different profession, whether it is liberal arts or sports or something totally out of the box, like wanting to become an astronaut or a scientist, is immediately dismissed as being outrageous and impractical. This will not only stifle any creativity but will also be a waste of both potential and passion.
Nida succeeded at convincing her parents to let her go with her instinct and has earned the place for her in a profession that she was so passionate about is fantastic. But what if she hadn’t? Where would she be now? And how many people actually give up on their dreams because of family pressure?
In her opinion majority of our issues could be resolved by just educating and creating awareness. With the power crises being a major issue in Pakistan, Nida Farid has started the awareness project ‘Karachi Energy Conservation Awareness (KECA) - Small Tricks for Large Savings’.
Turning off lights and fans is one thing but buying the right appliance matters just the same. It could be by the right choice of appliance that we save more energy. Power crisis is an issue that needs to be dealt immediately, since energy issue could lead to closing down of industries hence affecting the employment of several people. This doesn’t end here. It’s like a chain reaction which would bring about first poverty, illiteracy and many other social issues as well.
Nida Farid’s efforts are truly remarkable and deserve appreciation!