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WiSE Women of the UAE

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Undergraduate Student Issues II

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.1374.1 - 23.1374.10



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Paper Authors


Nadia M Alhasani The Petroelum Institute

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Dr. Nadia M. Alhasani, is Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and founding Dean of the Women in Science and Engineering Program (WiSE) at the Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi. Completed her bachelor degree from the College of Engineering, University of Baghdad, and graduate degrees from MIT and the University of Pennsylvania. Held the position of assistant vice chancellor for academic affairs at the American University of Sharjah 2003-6, as well as teaching positions at the University of Pennsylvania, Miami of Florida, Notre Dame of Indiana, and Michigan. Recipient of the 2006-7 Research Fellow at the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Art and Architecture at MIT, 1990-91 Willard A. Oberdick Fellowship in the Building Sciences from the University of Michigan, 1992 Graham Foundation Grant, Chicago, and 1994 National ACSA Faculty Teaching Award, Washington DC. Lectured and published in the field of building production, technology and culture, higher education and women in STEM in the Middle East.

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WiSE Women in the UAEMany observations have been documented, much research has been conducted and numerousarguments presented on the ever controversial topic of women in Science, Technology and Engineering.The Petroleum Institute’s Women in Science and Engineering Program (WiSE), located in Abu Dhabi-United Arab Emirates, was initiated to meet a specific need, which is providing the local petroleumindustry with a steady supply of qualified female engineers and scientists. It evolved to become apioneering model for training women in science and technology, enabling them to become effectiveagents of change in the regional oil and gas industry.Established in 2006, the 104 Emirati high school graduates pursued bachelor degrees in chemicalengineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, petroleum engineering and petroleumgeosciences. Today the program boosts some 400 students, representing 38% of the totalundergraduate population and 119 alumnae to date. Students are enrolled in segregated coursesections taught by faculty teaching the men’s sections and delivering the same curricula. They are heldto same standards and academic expectations however under a different academic environment.The uniqueness of the program is the focus on science and engineering with applications in the oil andgas industry. In addition to the traditional challenges of recruiting high school girls to enroll inengineering programs, the pressure is on to secure an early commitment to work in the lo0calpetroleum industry. The paper discusses the challenges met and the means in which managementovercome the various hurdles, both global and local, towards building a community of youngengineering professionals in a male-dominated profession and industry.

Alhasani, N. M. (2013, June), WiSE Women of the UAE Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22759

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