Monday, June 18, 2012

The story of Tahani Amer, Veiled Scientist at NASA

The woman's appearance was striking in the ranks of photos of female employees at the US Space Agency (NASA), posted on the page Women @ NASA. He is the only one who wears a veil.

The name of the woman Tahani Amer, a doctorate in engineering from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. Everyday, it works branch Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) or NASA Computational Fluid Dynamics. Every day he struggled with CFD computer code to climb the wind tunnel ceiling to install a speed measuring device.
"I'm an American Muslim, a NASA employee, who grew up in the suburbs of Cairo, Egypt," Amer said, as published on the site NASA.

Amer's interest in engineering arose when he saw his father repair a car engine in his small apartment in Egypt. While his love for mathematics paved the way for becoming an aeronautical engineer working in one of the world's most prominent institutions. "For me, education is the key that opens up many opportunities," he said.

Amer said that at first he wanted to enter medical school in Cairo. However, his choice of life changed his ideals. He married at the age of 17 and moved to the United States.

"Mathematics is my favorite subject," he said. "When I arrived in the US in 1983 and entered my first calculus class, I could not speak a word in English. But I was able to get an A in that subject," he said. That's when Amer felt, his career in engineering would be his future.

He also succeeded in completing his non-degree course in engineering in two years, while caring for two young children. Then he earned a bachelor's degree in engineering, followed by a master's in aeronautical engineering, and then a doctorate in engineering.

Amer began his career at NASA in 1992, on a CFD project. Since then he has gained valuable experience working with many intelligent scientists who love his work. Then, he worked in one of NASA's wind tunnels to conduct pressure experiments and sensitive thermal paints. "I work with CFD computer codes and climb the ceiling to install speed tools. This is amazing, I'm like a little girl in NASA's 'candy shop. Everything seems possible.'

Amer claimed to have never felt bored working at NASA. He even managed to find and patent a system for measuring the thermal conductivity of thin films.

Getting a thin brain prize and the opportunity to get an education make Amer not stingy to share knowledge. He diligently participated in social programs organized by NASA.

He was also active in the mosque, to teach about Islam and recite the Koran for children. "After the September 11 attacks I participated in giving an understanding of Islam in my community. I also gave lectures in churches, in many universities and local schools. There were even local newspapers that interviewed me about Islam," Amer said.

During his lifetime Amer had three principles: serving God then you served all beings; that education is the key that opens opportunities; and try to serve others with compassion and kindness.

"With these three principles I tried to apply everyday living standards to challenge myself in my work at NASA, try to continue to improve, and help others through a large organization: NASA."

NASA developed the Women @ NASA website as an effort to help high school students explore career opportunities in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

VN/The Truth Seeker Media

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