After discovering her love for maths and physics at school, and through the help of a career’s advisor, Farzana decided she wanted to pursue a career in engineering. She wanted her career to provide substance, and to have an impact on society, so when it came to choosing her university degree, Farzana was not fazed by the lack of female representation in the industry; this, in fact, made her more determined to succeed.
Farzana achieved her MEng degree in Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College, London and followed this up a few years’ later when she went on to study Rail Systems Engineering for her Masters at University of Sheffield. Most of Farzana’s career has been spent in the very specialist discipline of railway vehicle dynamics, carrying out consultancy work and becoming an expert in the areas of vehicle dynamics, gauging and the wheel-rail interface.
In 2021, Farzana took on the role as the Operations Manager of the Engineering Practice within the Transportation Division, initially as a secondment, but then as a permanent position. Her typical day at work normally includes reporting, networking, and engaging with her colleagues, and spearheading business improvements.
The Institution visited SNC-Lavalin a few years ago to speak to employees about professional registration and the opportunity to become a Fellow. Farzana attended the meeting and identified that she had the qualities to become a Fellow of the Institution. She realised that she had always put people who are Fellows on a pedestal, and it was only by breaking down the requirements that it was possible for her to see that she had what it took to be elected herself – “All Fellows are not the same and there are different reasons for why they deserve their status.”
Becoming a Fellow of the Institution was one of Farzana’s proudest career moments. For her application, she was sponsored by two female Fellows, Bridget Eickhoff, who gave Farzana her very first job and was also her IMechE Mentor, and Jenny Irish, her former job share partner. These two women are inspirational to Farzana, and she is proud to stand alongside them as Fellows.
Farzana speaks to us about how IMechE’s Young Members conferences gave her the opportunity to network with others and learn new knowledge and skills. She also gives thanks to the Railway Division in Derby for their local lectures – they have “been really useful in my career to discover more about particular projects in my industry.”
Find out more about becoming a Fellow