Quite honestly the best thing about being an engineer is: being called an engineer

Maha Khan
Maha Khan
Chemical & Biological Engineering Alumna
Graduate Energy Consultant for Arup
Maha graduated in 2016 from Chemical & Biological Engineering and now works as a Graduate Energy Consultant for Arup in Sheffield.

Watch: our interview with Maha.

I came across Chemical Engineering just by accident whilst I was looking at universities. I sat in the wrong lecture theatre and by the end of the talk there was this whole theme about making a change and I realized that perhaps by being an engineer, I can deliver that change better. When I was going through different universities I came across Sheffield and it was definitely the most welcoming and the most friendly and they had a support network in place which was exactly what I needed.

It has only been five months since I joined Arup but I guess the highlight of my career so far has been the fact that I am treated and respected as an engineer. They let me be an individual and I've not had to change myself to adapt or not had to fit in, they’ve accepted me for who I am.

There's a perfect balance of the techno-economic as well as with the social responsibilities that we have as engineers here. Arup is not just about pretty buildings but we also help our clients meet their carbon reduction targets, making energy more available and making it more user friendly. It's nice being part of a company that acknowledges its responsibilities as engineers and acts to quite literally shape a better world.

Chemical Engineering allowed me to gain the tools to think like an engineer and I think that's the most important and the most fundamental thing that I've got out of my degree - to be able to walk away and solve problems, have a methodology and be creative with what I do. I think Arup values freethinkers hence why I have adjusted so well in the team because they're all open to new ideas and innovative solutions.

The most exciting and the most challenging part of this job at Arup is it’s so client specific and no two solutions are ever the same; no two problems are ever the same and I think that's what keeps it really really exciting.

Chemical engineering allowed me to gain the tools to thinks like an engineer and I think that's the most important, and the most fundamental thing, that I've got out of my degree. 

Maha Khan

Chemical & Biological Engineering graduate

During my time at University I got involved quite extensively in extracurricular and it's something that I started off doing to build myself as a person, gain skills that I know I'll need in the job place. I truly believe that I am probably sat where I am thanks to the skills that I gained whilst doing my extracurricular activities that involved things like being President of the Chemical Engineer society as well as the Pakistani Society; working as part of Engineering Without Borders; delivering outreach programs to young people which I’ve luckily enough been able to carry through to Arup and is what I'm doing right now as well.

Yes, I am an engineer but at the same time I am a consultant which involves me having the correct communication skills being able to speak to clients and address their problems appropriately as well as having the leadership skills and the ownership to take responsibility of the work that I've done and delivering that.

We interviewed Maha in 2017.

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