Bringing the Spirit of Aerospace with Syafiqa Sazali from Spirit Aerosystems
By Katy Chahal
Katy is Founder and Contributing Writer at The WiAA Project
She is young, she is bubbly and has hair that suits her personality! Meet Syafiqa, a process Engineer at Spirit Aerosystems in Subang, Malaysia.
Born and educated in Malaysia, she went to a boarding Science school and did her Aircraft Engineering Technology Mechanical in UniKL (MIAT). She also earned a Masters of Science in Aerospace Engineering & Management from the University of Glasgow, Scotland.
Even though she had been busy studying this field, Engineering was not her first job surprisingly, and decided to try something a little different as she needed a break from it. Her first job was in a marketing role in a Telecommunications company in the UK. However, she realised soon enough that she missed Engineering, and therefore decided to settle back into it with Spirit Aerosystems in Malaysia as her first Aviation related role and start her career in 2017 as a Process Engineer in materials and process.
With a supportive family and relatives in Aviation, Syafiqa had always been interested in travel and how to get to places a lot faster than in a car, hence her interest in Aviation and Airplanes. She was always interested in the mechanics of how an aircraft flies and hopes to be in this industry for long term and be an inspiration model to others especially females.
Her Job in Spirit Aerosystems:
As a Process & Materials Engineer, her responsibilities include ensuring that the materials such as oils, paints and lubricants used on panels, adhere to the quality and specifications that are industry standards and for clients such as Boeing and Airbus. It is great to see that companies value their employees’ input into how to be effective and make the most out of the situation.
She talks about the company itself and how she enjoys being a part of it. Spirit Aerosystems Subang has a very flexible work environment and one that encourages young people and women to be a part of their workforce.
Syafiqa feels that it offers a great learning platform, allows for their employees to unleash their full potential, to think out of the box allowing their staff’s creativity to flow. She also has had the opportunity to travel to other locations of Spirit Aerosystems and understand the workings of the company culture.
Impact of Covid situation:
With the industry impacted in a very negative way, with no demand for parts and production, what happens with the raw materials? Being encouraged to think out of the box during Covid times has also been something that she has had to endure such as what to do with the materials that are not being utilised instead of them going to waste before they expire. Allowing their employees to come up with new ideas and innovative ways to use the raw materials and channel it differently is a great way to unleash young people’s minds and certainly must be encouraged.
Syafiqa is very talented and is also a Dive Master (PADI Pro) which she loves to do alongside her engineering job. She also wishes to do her PhD in the future to advance herself which is well supported by her family and employer Spirit Aerosystems.
Advice to the younger generation and future aviators:
Syafiqa truly encourages girls to go into engineering and pursue their dreams. “Break the stereotype mindset” she says and go for what you wish to achieve. The industry is changing and realise that women can bring different perspectives to any situation. Men and women are built differently and both gender perspectives are important. There is a need for balance and application of skills in different manners to achieve the same outcome.
Aviation will turn around and the demand for travel will surface in due course which in turn will require more aviators.
Her take on The WiAA Project Initiative:
Syafiqa is very excited to be a part of this and feels that initiatives such as this truly can create awareness to educate the youth about the industry and its potential. Syafiqa states that as the younger generation are social media warriors, it should be the key tool to be used to share and create awareness of The WiAA Project Initiative.
The WiAA Team wishes Syafiqa the very best in her quest and success in Aviation.