YEPP PerSPEctive - A Saudi Aramco engineer balances work and family.
Amal Al-Awami is a mother of four and one of the few female engineers working for Saudi Aramco. She is from Qatif in Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia, and joined the company right after finishing high school in 1979. She later earned a BS degree in chemical engineering from the U. of Southern California and an MBA degree from Hull U. in the U.K. She has worked in various departments and is currently a reservoir-simulation specialist with the Reservoir Description and Simulation Dept.
Just like many high school graduates, Al-Awami was not sure about what she wanted to major in. All she had in mind was to go to a big university in the U. S. Realizing that dream and getting a scholarship to the U.S. from Saudi Aramco opened the doors wide to almost all the majors she could dream of. People around her encouraged her to go for medicine. She entertained that idea, but medical school in the U.S. was almost out of the question because of the limited seats available for undergraduate international students. Reading about engineering majors in the King Fahd U. of Petroleum and Minerals course book led her to choose chemical engineering. Chemistry was her favorite subject, and engineering was what she was after. So, to her, it was the best combination. Now that she has become a petroleum engineer by profession, she states that sometimes she regrets the fact that she didn’t go for a petroleum engineering degree at the same time, but she knows in her heart that she did the right thing.