Project Engineer, Norman Disney & Young, London
Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering
Bachelor of Engineering Technology in Mechanical Engineering
What he loves most about being a mechanical engineer is seeing how something drawn on paper can come to life, says AUT engineering alumnus Idrees Mussa who now works as a project engineer for the London office of global engineering consultancy firm Norman Disney & Young.
“In this role, I’m responsible for the design and development of fire protection services – sprinklers, fire alarms, gas suppression etc – for commercial buildings. This involves undertaking site inspections and co-ordinating with contractors to ensure that what is built reflects the design and complies with government regulations. I enjoy the sense of accomplishment I get when I drive by a commercial building I’ve worked on.”
Idrees moved to London in early 2020, after previously honing his engineering skills at Agile Engineering Consultants and WSP Opus in Auckland.
He still frequently draws on the skills he developed while studying engineering at AUT, Idrees says.
“The AUT engineering degree covered a lot of the founding principles for my career now, but more importantly the programme taught me how to handle high-pressure situations and manage my time well. These are key skills for the working world.”
Friendships and opportunities
He still has fond memories of his time at university, says Idrees who completed his Bachelor of Engineering Technology in 2013, followed by a Bachelor of Engineering in 2015.
“When I finished high school, I chose to study at AUT because it has a reputation for being a university where the lecturers care for your education and you aren’t a statistic to fill a spreadsheet to get more funding.
“One of the biggest highlights for me included making some great friends as well as having the chance to complete an internship in Berlin over the summer break. Working with the renowned Fraunhofer Institute in a joint alliance with AUT and Technische Universität Berlin gave me first-hand experience of what it takes to be successful in the field of engineering.”
Handing in his final assignment is something he still remembers today.
“When I submitted my paper after an intense and stressful final year, I sat down on a bench outside the engineering, computer and mathematical sciences building and thought to myself ‘I've done it, after all the highs and lows of the engineering degree, I did it’. I thought that if I can do this, I can do anything I put my mind to.”
Advice for other students
After spending the last five years working as an engineer, Idrees has some great advice for other students.
“My advice for other students is to persevere and have fun. No matter what you choose to specialise in, there will always be a moment – maybe multiple moments – where you ask yourself, ‘Is this all really worth it?’ You just have to push through and not give up as you will get there.”
Don’t forget to enjoy yourself, he adds.
“Live your best life and enjoy yourself. That's more important than anything.”