This course helped prepare me for work in industry

A profile photo of Mina.
Mina Zakher
Graduate Engineer, Nissan Technical Centre
Aerospace Engineering MEng with a Year in Industry
Mina joined the R&D graduate scheme at Nissan, and now works on projects to ensure vehicles meet their safety targets.

I chose to study Aerospace Engineering at Sheffield as the University has an excellent engineering reputation.

It is highly regarded amongst industry and has close links with key players, such as through the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre. What won me over was the atmosphere within Sheffield and the way the campus is spread over the city and parks.

Getting the chance to go in a Jetstream aircraft in third year, in order to experience a flight test was very exciting- even if it unsettled the stomach a little.


I joined the R&D graduate scheme at Nissan Technical Centre Europe (NCTE) in the crash safety performance department. Since then I've been working on various projects to ensure each vehicle meets its passive safety target for homologation and EuroNCAP.

Mina Zakher

Graduate Engineer, Nissan Technical Centre Europe


It was a great opportunity to experience first-hand what we'd been taught in lectures. The group design project to create a UAV was definitely a highlight too, despite the many challenges. It was great working in an interdisciplinary team in order to utilise our skills.

After leaving university, I joined the R&D graduate scheme at Nissan Technical Centre Europe (NCTE) in the crash safety performance department. Since then I've been working on various projects to ensure each vehicle meets its passive safety target for homologation and EuroNCAP.

Seeing a car smashing into a barrier at 64km/h close-up makes you appreciate the amount of engineering which goes into a vehicle so that you’re able to walk away from such a crash unscathed. As part of the graduate scheme, I've undertaken three-month rotations in the aerodynamics and aeroacoustics departments and I’ve also had the opportunity to travel to various crash test facilities, such as in Spain and the Netherlands.

In the aerodynamics department I was supporting projects for vehicles in their early development stage before design confirmation. This involved physical wind tunnel testing to measure the overall drag with various design changes in order to reduce the number of counts.

I'm now looking forward to my second rotation working within the marketability team, where I will be working from a broader view looking into how each design team influences the overall subjective feel of the vehicle from a customer perspective.

Because the Aerospace Engineering course at Sheffield is interdisciplinary, it helped prepare me for work in an industry where I regularly interact with several departments and functions. It’s not so much the technical content, but the way I have learned to approach problems which has been fundamental in preparing me for my job at Nissan.

In terms of my future career, I’d like to get involved in safety development from an earlier point in the overall vehicle development by doing a placement in Japan.

I also want to get involved with the active safety side of the industry. This is becoming more and more important with technologies such as autonomous emergency braking becoming mainstream in new cars, as well as their influence on the future of fully autonomous vehicles.

Image: student working; Text: Futures. Sheffield Made.

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