Professor Oubay Hassan MBE FREng is an engineering professor at Swansea University with a research interest in computational methods to solve problems in engineering analysis and design. He led the team that developed the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) technologies that were essential for the aerodynamic design of the Bloodhound Supersonic Car.
“My proudest achievement is my contribution to the development of the computational fluid dynamics modelling software that is used in aerodynamic designs of various modern aircraft”
How would you describe your current role to someone who knows nothing about engineering?
I am a Professor of Civil Engineering in the College of Engineering at Swansea University. My mission is to ensure that the new generation of engineers are provided with the best knowledge and tools to address the challenges of our time.
Why did you choose to go into engineering?
At the age of 14, my grandfather offered me a summer job in his construction firm. Close to the site where I was working, a bridge was being constructed across a valley that is over 200 metres wide and over 60 metres high; I was in awe of the concrete structure and became determined to learn how such structures could be designed and built.
What do you like most about being an engineer?
I find engineering to be the ultimate field for challenge and creativity. What I also like about engineering is the fact that the learned skills can be applied elsewhere. In addition, it is fulfilling to see how engineering development enhances people and communities.
Tell us about an achievement that you are most proud of.
My proudest achievement is my contribution to the development of the CFD modelling software that is used in aerodynamic designs of various modern aircraft. I also am proud of the MBE I received for my role in the Thrust Supersonic Car, which broke the sound barrier on ground in 1997.
How do you think racial parity in engineering can be achieved?
Parity will be achieved when everyone stops taking about racial and gender inequality and concentrates entirely on the individual’s ability; I believe it is only a matter of time until this is achieved.
Has being a BAME engineer had an impact on your career that is either positive or negative?
I don’t believe that my ethnic background has had any impact on my career.
How has the ethnic diversity of the profession changed since you started working in engineering?
I have to admit that I was fortunate to work in a department that was very cosmopolitan; that department was an exemplar of inclusivity that made its selection based on the individual’s ability to contribute to activities.
What would you say to someone considering a career in engineering?
I have achieved far more than I thought I would have achieved in an engineering career; it is a very open career path where one can truly achieve their goals. Hence, I would have no hesitation in recommending engineering to someone seeking a worthy career that involves creativity and problem solving.