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Success Story of a Kurdish Aerospace Engineer

By: Fargo Bcn

Some of the most successful aerospace engineers have made significant contributions to space travel and space exploration, as well as the development of aircraft design, architecture, and innovation. However, each aerospace engineer carves out their path to success, which will inspire aspiring engineers. This article will introduce you to a thriving aerospace engineer who has carved her career path for success.

Tawin Efe is a professional Aerospace engineer in Bremen, Germany. Her mother is from Mahabad, Eastern Kurdistan (Iran), and her father hails from Pîran, Northern Kurdistan (Turkey). Her parents both came to Germany in 1980 but independently from each other. Her mother came to Germany for study purposes and desired to earn a university degree. However, her father fled from Turkey to Germany for political reasons. Tawin is the eldest of five girls in the family. Having four younger sisters shaped her to be more committed, self-reliant, and independent. Growing up in a community with few other children from immigrant families, they always seemed different.

However, their cultural background never hindered their involvement in their community. Tawin remembered so well that she was always curious about anything that attracted her attention as a child. Her mom described her enormous interest in how things work technically and often asked questions about particular details. She would marvel at matters that challenged her thoughts. During her secondary school in Bonn, she went to Gymnasium, where she acquired Abitur as a qualifying examination and entrance to college university degree study.

In my interview with Tawin, she admirably credited her mother, saying, "I am fortunate that my mom never raised me with any stereotype. I was permitted to do what I wanted and enjoyed doing and was never told that this only is for boys. (for example, when playing with cars instead of dolls). I was free to explore interesting things and got my parents to appreciate them." What motivated you to take up Aerospace Engineering? "I was always interested in how things work and love to challenge myself in every way. Space is the most challenging environment, so I was always attracted. The surrounding environment is very hostile, so the technical knowledge and requirements are very demanding. I was always interested in space and bizarre occurrences. I'm curious, and there are so many things we don't know about the universe. We don't know anything; this is what fascinated me. So I decided to study Mechanical Engineering at a prestigious university. After receiving my bachelor's degree, I was motivated to pursue my Master's in Aerospace Engineering, allowing me to specialize in this engineering field."

Tawin received her Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering and Master's degree in Aerospace and Aeronautical Engineering from the RWTH Aachen University in Germany. During her final year thesis, she was part of a team that developed a reusable rocket concept. Her work included calculating and simulating thermomechanical loads during the rocket's re-entry; based on the results, the design of an adequate interface for the heat shield is attached to the rocket's primary structure.

What other field of study interests you that shaped your dreams? "I am mostly interested in technical or science-related studies. Besides engineering, I am very interested in astrophysics and quantum physics."

She worked-graduating one and a half years ago; she was immediately hired as a Systems Engineer in one of Bremen's biggest European space companies. She works on spacecraft control systems, technically developing systems that enable controlling a spacecraft.

Becoming a rocket scientist is hard, but every step is worth it as her journey has just started to flourish. Her biggest dream is to lead in developing innovative space technologies, enabling humanity to further explore and expand into space. She likes to set a good example that will challenge every girl and encourage them to pursue a career in a technical domain because it is not only for boys! Engineering is so much fun. It's about determination and giving it a shot. Never let any traditions or stereotypes stand in your way.

Aside from being academically engaged, Tawin indulges in sports, which she considers "almost like an addiction." She is passionate about outdoor adventures and loves climbing, bouldering, general fitness training, and mountaineering. Apart from these, she loves to read books, travel, and enjoy the company of her beloved motorbike.

What inspiration would you like to impart to the world, especially the global Kurdish society?

"I hope I can support fellow Kurds in achieving their dreams and as a role model. Growing up in a foreign country can be hard for a non-white person to achieve something. You must work double as hard as possible and fight against stereotypes. I hope to show the young Kurds that everything is possible if you work hard enough with discipline and ambition."

Tawin hopes to use her knowledge and engineering skills one day to support the Kurds in general. She was overwhelmed and deeply moved when she started to receive so many lovely messages and congratulations on her social media. She would like to express her heartfelt gratitude to everyone for their inspiring words; she appreciates every encouraging word she receives. It will be an inspiration to be a better person, she said. She hopes her story can motivate other young people, especially girls, to pursue a technical career.

The future for aerospace engineering is bright as we witness new space exploration and space travel becoming the norm. If anyone among you is an aspiring aerospace engineer, may this article of Tawin's story serve as a resource for success stories in aerospace engineering.

Remember that some of the most successful engineers who worked in aeronautics or astronomical engineering came from all walks of life, focused on getting an education, and took the necessary steps to build a career path that helped them make an impact in the industry. Neil Armstrong, Kalpana Chawla, Judith Love Cohen, and many others made it. Consider some of the career paths of these aerospace engineers that helped lead them down the road to success. If they could achieve it, and if Tawin Efe attained it, why can't you?

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