Shaping the world, shaping the future

Celebrating International Women in Engineering Day

23 June 2020

International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) is an opportunity to pay tribute to all the women who work in our practice. Shaping the World is this year’s INWED theme, and we are very aware how much our projects benefit from the input of the women at Buro Happold. As well as bringing their engineering skills, they also help ensure that the solutions we deliver are as innovative and relevant as possible.

To celebrate, we are going to tell the story of one particular project, Dubai’s Museum of the Future. It’s a project to which many women engineers in our Dubai office have contributed their expertise, helping deliver this fine example of technical excellence. Their work has included the design of the critical mechanical electrical and public health systems, the structural diagrids, the site-wide energy and renewable strategy, the complex dynamic energy modelling, the LEED compliance for Platinum certification, and the specialist lighting and façade design.

Museum of the Future
Image: Killa Design

About the Museum of the Future

With its motto ‘See the future, create the future’, the Museum of the Future is currently under construction in the UAE. It is a remarkable building in both structure and façade, and passers-by have been fascinated by the magnificent diagrids and the Arabic calligraphy. The vision for the museum, and the poetry featured in the calligraphy, is that of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and ruler of the Emirate of Dubai.

This futuristic innovation hub aims to create a platform for trend setters, innovators and those who are simply curious about the future. It is hoped that it will act as a catalyst for social, technical and business innovation across the Middle East.

A feat of engineering

This project has adapted transformative technological solutions and applied them to all areas – from the design, to the conscious approach prioritising sustainability and minimising the impact of energy, water and waste, to the implementation of an innovative construction methodology.

The museum is a testament to the many innovative minds, creative thinkers and problem solvers – both men and women – who have worked together. Our project partners have included architects Killa Design, project managers MSW (Matthew Southwest) and delivery partner Meraas, and Buro Happold was responsible for delivering all the engineering, from design to construction.

Museum of the Future
Image: Buro Happold

How Buro Happold women engineers helped shape the Museum of the Future

The skills of our women engineers in Dubai have been key to the success of the project, so we asked them to tell us a bit about their involvement. Here’s what they told us.

Farah Naz, Rayya Jawhar & Radhika Mehta
Image: Buro Happold

I led the sustainability and innovation strategy for the museum. Embracing the Five Capitals Model for sustainability, we proposed an integrated innovation strategy to optimise energy efficiency, acquire 50% of the building’s energy from solar PVs and target LEED Platinum Certification.

Farah Naz, Sustainability and Innovation Leader, Buro Happold

For me, working on the Museum of the Future was more than developing the sustainability and renewables strategies, it was about being part of an integrated design and client team that contributed to resolving the most complex and challenging design problems.

Rayya Jawhar, Senior Sustainability Consultant, Buro Happold

My experience with Museum of the Future has been memorable. I was part of the LEED design submission stage for four months during my internship. My main task was working on the energy modelling using IES-VE software to increase the proposed design’s energy savings.

Radhika Mehta, Sustainability Intern, Buro Happold
Mimi Dy, Mary Jane Castro & Catherine Elliott-Scott
Image: Buro Happold

It is a gift of an opportunity to be involved in an iconic project that will speak about technology to the children of the future. A rare opportunity to put pieces together along with the creative minds of the present.

Mimi Dry, Principal Mechanical Engineer, Buro Happold

I dealt with both the public health and fire protection aspects of the design. Water usage consciousness is one of the key features of the museum, and I had to integrate water sustainability ambitions while achieving the design and authority requirements for the project. It’s inspiring how useful this project will make itself as it opens.

Mary Jane Castro, Public Health Engineer, Buro Happold

I designed an electrical system to handle the power-intense exhibits, so they remain flexible and invisible in the exhibition space. Ensuring electrical infrastructure coordinated seamlessly with the complex structure was a key deliverable to this world-class, culturally significant project.

Catherine Elliott-Scott, Project Operations Manager, Buro Happold
Czarina Copiaco, Chrystall Thomas & Zeina Doumet
Image: Buro Happold

Witnessing the Museum of the Future construction when I was still at university was inspiring. It redefined my ideas of the vast possibilities of engineering. Being involved in the fit-out design stage of such an iconic project has truly been an honour.

Czarina Copiaco, Graduate Eletrical Engineer, Buro Happold

Conducting reviews for the LEED design and construction rating has been a rewarding experience. The Museum of the Future is a great example of sustainability being implemented in the most complex of designs.

Chrystall Thomas, Graduate Sustainability Engineer, Buro Happold

Being responsible for the steel structure forming the iconic torus of the Museum of the Future, I was involved in the development of custom parametric tools to coordinate and optimise the diagrid. It is rewarding to see how this has contributed to the success of the project.

Zeina Doumet, Senior Structural Engineer, Buro Happold

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