What appealed to you about UNSW and your degree?
As my career in consulting engineering and project management progressed, I became involved in Aviation projects, which I really enjoyed. I knew if I wanted to stay in the Aviation industry long-term, I would need further specialist knowledge, to legitimise and validate my position. I completed my master’s in project management in 2004 with UNSW, and had such a positive experience, UNSW was really the only choice in furthering my studies. The flexibility of the program was an ideal choice whilst working overseas with a young family.
What is the most valuable thing you took away from your time at UNSW?
The range of subjects available in the master’s program gave me the opportunity to specialise in certain topics, while gaining more general knowledge in other aviation disciplines. Aviation is such a varied field; the master’s was able to give me a good grounding in so many areas of the industry. My degree with UNSW Aviation has been invaluable to my career, in providing me with both credibility and knowledge.
Where has your career taken you?
During the course of the program my career progressed at Etihad Airways. I began my career at Etihad Airways in 2013 as Senior Manager - Entry Into Service, project managing the introduction of the A380 and B787 aircraft types into Etihad Airways fleet. In 2015 I progressed into my current role as Head Midfield Programme in which I must drive effective coordination through an informed, knowledgeable grasp of issues across Midfield Programme decision and delivery levels. In this role I have drawn on much of the diverse knowledge gained from the UNSW Aviation postgraduate program to deal with a wide range of issues.
What innovations do you think the industry needs?
There is currently a significant drive for the introduction of new technology in a variety of areas of the industry, which the COVID-19 pandemic has expedited. As part of my current programme, the introduction of Self-Service technologies is being pursued to develop technology channels to assist guests when departing or transiting through Abu Dhabi. The main drivers for these initiatives include providing guests with more transaction options (including contactless offerings), while overall making the guests end-to-end airport experience smoother, with more efficient process flows. Ultimately in order to promote confidence within the air travelling public, airlines and airports need to provide guests with the maximum level of comfort possible, that everything that practicably can be done, is being done to make commercial aviation as safe and efficient as possible.
What would your advice be for those currently studying or considering the study of Aviation at UNSW?
I believe there has never been a better time than now to study Aviation. There is always peaks and troughs in the industry, once this unprecedented event passes, the industry will recover and need more young, qualified people with comprehensive aviation knowledge. There will be a lot of opportunity on the other side of this pandemic.