Episode 25: Dr. Wan Mazlina, Preparing The Youth For The Aviation and Aerospace Industry

Dr Wan was born in Kedah, Malaysia where she attended St Nicholas Convent Primary and Sultanah Asma Secondary Schools, Alor Setar. Her late parents both worked in the Government service, hence they believed in educating their children and encouraging them to pursue their future without any prejudice.

Her Education

Dr. Wan Mazlina currently, is the Head, Training & Continual Professional Development (CPD) at Malaysia Institute of Transport (MITRANS), UiTM Shah Alam, and Senior Lecturer at Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, UiTM.

She received her double Degrees in Aerospace Engineering & Aircraft Maintenance Engineering, from St. Louis University, USA in 1989.  She obtained an MSc in Air Transport Management from Cranfield University, UK in 1998. She was also awarded a PhD by UiTM, Malaysia in 2016 for her thesis on Aeronautical Revenues Optimisation Model (AROM) for Regional Airport via Airside Operations Stochastic Baseline Matrix Analysis. She has more than 22 years of experience as an academician.

Her Career Roles

She started her aviation career as an Aircraft Planning Engineer at Airod Sdn Bhd in 1989, equipped with her FAA A&P licence. and was promoted as Aircraft Superintendent, a leadership role, in charge of C130H aircraft modification in 1993. In this role her task was to create a team to modify, fix and refurbish co-ordinating with the US, a project that took 3.5 years to complete. Her last post at Airod Sdn Bhd was as Technical Training Manager (1995 -1997).

In 1998, She joined University Sains Malaysia (USM) as Senior Lecturer and later was promoted to Deputy Dean of Postgraduate and Research, School of Aerospace Engineering, USM. In 2001 she joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering, UNITEN as Senior Lecturer and in 2003 she joined Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, UiTM Shah Alam as Senior Lecturer. Currently, she is actively involved in aviation and land transport research and consultancy, conducting training and organizing webinars, besides teaching and supervising students in UiTM.

Besides that, she is also on the technical committee of the Ministry of Transport (MOT) involved in the development of Malaysia Transport Policy (Aviation Sector) and Malaysia Standard Department in developing Aftermarket Vehicle Sales Standards.

Her Students

She agrees with the fact that with the current situation, jobs are limited in the aviation industry but this will change. Her biggest concern is that students who study say, mechanical engineering with a small element of aviation in their syllabus will not make them employable in the sector as it requires specific qualification or will have the need to take up another course of study or on job training to make them employable.

She strongly feels that there should be an independent aviation & aerospace training institute to train beyond the common jobs such as pilots and aircraft engineers. If Malaysia is to spearhead the Aviation sector, it is time to change and plan forward in establishing an independent institution to collaborate with all the experts in the aviation industry and academics, to help to develop and provide for the nation’s needs..

Women in Aviation:

She states that as women are natural multitaskers and jugglers, they can fit into any roles and industry. Despite being a mother of 5 children, she has clearly shown that women are very capable in balancing work and home life. She feels that a lot more effort is needed to achieve gender balance in the aviation industry which needs to come from many angles and sources. Women bring in different perspectives to any situation and that is certainly a healthy balance to any workforce.

On The WiAA Project:

Dr Wan fully supports initiatives such as The WiAA Project (Women in Aviation Asia), to inspire and encourage more female participation and retention in the aviation industry. She also feels that there is a need for more women leaders in Aviation. Leaders lead hence, encouraging being a part of this industry to more females.

Images of Dr Wan during her tenure with AIROD, Malaysia