UAE: Professors take pride in 1st female Arab astronaut's success

Ismail Sebugwaawo /Abu Dhabi Filed on April 29, 2021

Noura Al Matrooshi is part of a team to undergo training at NASA

The UAE University (UAEU) professors, who taught Noura Al Matrooshi, the first female Arab astronaut, have described her as a bright, talented, and dedicated pupil.

Al Matrooshi graduated from the UAEU in 2015, where she received a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering.

The Emirati will be part of a UAE team of four astronauts to undergo training at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the US for missions to space.

Khalifa H. Harib, Associate Professor Mechanical Engineering, at the UAEU, said Al Matrooshi was a bright student, who was keen to work on projects and laboratory assignments during her university days.

“She did exceptionally well in her project work under my supervision. She richly deserved the A score she received. We’re all very proud of her success,” said Harib.

Professor Mohamed Younes El-Saghir Selim, the Chair of Mechanical Engineering Department, UAEU, who taught Al Matroushi an elective course during the 2015 spring session on “Air Conditioning Systems” fondly remembered her as a talented pupil who was well regarded for her out-of-the-box thinking ability.

“She led a group of students in designing a unique air conditioning system (chilled water piping system) for a building like what a consultant engineer does. She had secured full marks in the design project,’ said Selim. “She was one of the best pupils in the class and was competing with her batchmate in scoring the highest grades. She almost got the highest marks in her class during the final examination. She obtained an A- grade, which was the highest grade.”

Professor Selim, who also acted as coordinator of Al Matrooshi’s graduation project, said the Emirati showed her leadership skills since her university days.

“I felt during those sessions that she has got leadership skills. I knew this from her emails to me, where she led her class. I also noticed her other character traits such as humility, calmness of mind, reticent and a person, who always thinks before she speaks,” he added.

Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh, the Cultural Adviser to the President of the UAE Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the Chancellor of UAE University, expressed his deep appreciation and gratitude to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for his precious trust in the potential and abilities of the country’s youth in opening and exploring new prospects in the fields of science, technology, and innovation, and to fulfill the nation’s space ambitions.

"We’re delighted that one of our graduates was selected as the first Emirati astronaut. This reflects UAEU's commitment to supporting its students by broadening their horizons, boosting their capability in scientific research, and guiding their educational journey to the right path offered with an educational environment that follows the highest international standards in this field,” he added.


Ismail Sebugwaawo

A professional journalist originating from Kampala, Uganda, Ismail is a happy father with strong attachment to family and great values for humanity. He has practiced journalism in UAE for the past 13 years, covering the country's parliament (FNC) and crimes, including Abu Dhabi Police, public prosecution and courts. He also reports about important issues in education, public health and the environment, with a keen interest in human interest stories. When out of reporting duties, he serves the Ugandan community in Abu Dhabi as he wants to see his countrymen happy. Exercising and reading are part of his free time.

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