Diaspo #148 : Nadira Najib, an environment enthusiast in the United States

In 2008, Nadira Najib decided to persue her studies in the United States?; She went to Harvard University and then strated working in the field of environment and water waste.

Nadira Najib, a Moroccan researcher in teh United States. / DR
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In 1984, Nadira Najib was born in Casablanca into a family of five. Life took a different turn in 1991, when Nadira lost her father and the breadwinner of the family. Struggling to afford school fees, her mother enrolled her in a public school.

After graduating high school, Nadira opted for chemical engineering at the University of Mohammedia. «I have always been into things that involve manual activities», she told Yabiladi.

Although Nadira liked the path she had chosen for herself, university years were not easy. «I used to take the bus to go to Mohammedia, there were two options either the bus or the train but I couldn’t afford the latter», she recalled.

Four years later, Nadira, with her degree in hand, started looking for a job. She started working for a «Technical Center for Wooden Industries and Furniture» in Casablanca, where she operated in quality control.

A Harvard graduate

After exactly one year, she decided to go to the United States and apply to Harvard University, one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in North America and in the world.

«I worked as a researcher for a year on the Wikipedia project on Islam, which aimed at changing stereotypes about Islam, especially in the United States, but in a scientific way».

Nadira Najib

While doing research in Harvard, Nadira started thinking about completing her graduate studies, and had two options: either to go to France to study for a master's degree, or remain in the United States. After several attempts, she decided to stay in the United States and enrolled at Stevens University in New Jersey.

«This university has many Arab teachers, and also has an excellent program for the environment. I wanted to study a master's that would be about the environment, with a focus on water and wastewater but the number of students did not exceed ten».

Nadira Najib

«When doing my master’s degree, my project was to treat water and remove phosphorous from it, because it causes major environmental problems. After two years, I decided to go for a PhD at the same university after I got a full scholarship», she said.

An environment enthusiast

Because of all the time spent in the laboratory doing research, Nadira started to feel bored and lonely. She thus decided to find a job and put her studies on hold for a while.

She joined «Langan», a provider of land development engineering and environmental consulting services, and the company that laid the foundation stone of the famous «clock tower» in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

«We were the ones who oversaw the technical studies of the tower. I worked with them for seven years, after that, I decided to pursue my studies while working. I supervised projects in various countries of the world, even though the majority of them were in the United States», Nadira said.

«The first time I started working, I was the only woman among the employees, and I went with my boss to one of the sites, and the workers began talking to him without speaking to me thinking that I was his daughter. When I told them that I would be their manager, they were surprised!», she recalled.

Nadira worked on a number of skyscraper projects inside and outside the United States. «I supervise studies related to the flooring, before starting construction», she added.

Six months ago, the Moroccan engineer joined American multinational Honeywell Company, one of the largest companies in
the field of complex electronic technologies. Honeywell is present in various countries of the world, including in Morocco.

In addition to her current position, Nadira is so proud of her accomplishements during the year 2017. That year, she won two awards and was also named the best engineer in the company she was working for.

«My boss nominated me to win the Young Engineer of the Year award in Northern New Jersey, which is awarded by the American Society of Civil Engineers, and I won! Also, about four months earlier, Civil + Structural Engineer Magazine had chosen me as the best young emerging engineer, and in the same year I got a PhD in Environmental Engineering with a major in water filtering».

Nadira Najib

Regarding whether she is thinking of returning to Morocco, Nadira explained that the idea has been in the back of her mind for a while. The Moroccan engineer thinks of working in her home country in the field of education and said, «I see
in my country that public schools are constantly declining, and that hurts me».

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