Hana Dayana Husin

Father knows best

Young woman takes inspiration from father to pursue mechanical engineering degree at Nilai University

“I wouldn’t be in university pursuing a degree if it weren’t for my dad,” says Hana Dayana Hussin. The 23-year-old from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah has recently enrolled in the Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (Hons) programme at Nilai University (Nilai U). By her own admission, she does not consider herself to be a “top, top student with plenty of As” and that she had found her diploma in mechanical engineering programme tough going. However, her father, who is a former air force aircraft technician, always gave her plenty of encouragement to keep raising the bar. “At one point, my father had decided he wanted to continue his studies and opted to do a degree in occupational safety and health. I had to help tutor him for the entrance test as it had been a long time since he studied for an exam. He passed the exam and said it was down to my assistance. That’s when he pushed me to further my studies,” Hana explains.

The second of four siblings, Hana is determined to be the first in her family to earn a degree. She says that her interest in all things mechanical was borne from following her dad to work. Hana recalls that her dad was always up to a challenge of fixing broken machinery and had a look of satisfaction whenever he completed a task. Having spent an inordinate amount of time in aircraft hangars, Hana’s pathway into mechanical engineering was firmed up after a visit to the Petro-Science exhibition. Inspired by the various exhibits, Hana decided that she was going to be a mechanical engineer. “I also want to feel that same sense of pride that I saw on my dad’s face whenever he managed to fix faulty machinery,” she says. “I firmly believe that pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering will help me achieve my dreams.”

Hana admits that one of her weaker subjects is mathematics which is essential in the field of engineering. Undeterred, Hana relied on good old fashioned hard graft and plenty of extra assignments. “I knew even during my diploma programme that I needed to improve my maths. I did plenty of revision as well as practiced on past year questions. That certainly helped me to do better,” she summarizes. Even though she has gotten exemptions on the Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering programme at Nilai U on the basis of her holding a diploma in the same field, Hana is taking nothing for granted. “I am following the same methods as I did during my diploma days but more vigorously.  The degree is so much tougher and I am studying twice as hard,” she says, outlining her modus operandi. “After all, anything worthwhile in this world is never going to be easy!”

Aside from facing some challenges with mathematics, Hana is also adapting to being a minority at Nilai U’s engineering department. In total, she estimates there are less than a dozen females pursuing engineering degrees and diplomas with her but again, she is undeterred. “There is no difference between guys and girls. I also happen to enjoy the practical sessions very much and the girls in the department have shown we can work on heavy machinery as well as the boys. What matters most is hard work, passion and perseverance,” she concludes.

Students in Nilai U’s engineering department benefit from having opportunities to earn enhanced certification through workshops and training seminars, which include instruction by Siemen’s training partner, Bistanika Sdn Bhd, on Programmable Logic Controllers and Machine Human Interface as well as Siemens S7-1200 system. Enhanced certification by CADD Centre in Solidworks and ANYSYS software is embedded in the syllabus of the mechanical and automotive engineering programmes at the department. Solidworks enables students to model components with parametric methods as well as on how to create assemblies. ANYSYS imparts knowledge on computer aided engineering analysis using finite element method / finite element analysis (FEM/FEA). For more information, please visit www.nilai.edu.my or call 06-8502308 / 07-2262336 / 03-79603089.