Anusha Qureshi

Research Assistant, Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre


Anusha Qureshi profile

Coming from a family comprised mostly of doctors, Anusha Qureshi grew up assuming that she, too, would enter the medical field. That destiny would change course the more her passion for mathematics grew and eventually shift to engineering with the sway of her brother.

Anusha’s decision to leave Pakistan at age 17 and enrol in the Mechanical Engineering Technology program at Niagara College was a combination of her natural love and ability for math (as demonstrated by a 96 percent grade average) and inspiration from her brother Behram Shah, a recent graduate of the same NC program and now employee of Fleet Industries.

“My brother would talk about his AutoCAD assignments, 3D printing and also his co-ops in the aerospace industry and it was really fascinating,” says the second-year student and Research Assistant with the Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre.

She does admit to some initial apprehension for the engineering arena given her perceived lack of jobs in a field that is underrepresented by females. While she is currently one of only three females in her entire program, her career outlook has changed and she now wishes more women would pursue engineering and technology.

“That’s the beauty of engineering; it evolves with the needs of people and for the betterment of the world.”

Considering the major move to this country, having the chance within her R&I co-op to work on real-world projects has helped Anusha, both personally and professionally, she explains. “My communication skills are really good now, compared to what they were before, when I first started my co-op, because English is not my first language.” She says. “I’ve gained so much confidence and the mentors here place a lot of trust in me.”

One industry partnership for which she was able to learn essential skills was an innovative project involving a Canadian manufacturer of polymer-based materials who was seeking help with 3D molding options for its patented gel formula that helps relieve patients with pressure wounds.

“This company is using their gel material to help patients with a common problem for people who are wheelchair bound or bedridden. I’m working on something so meaningful,” she says.

“That’s the beauty of engineering; it evolves with the needs of people and for the betterment of the world.”

Anusha is fond of the popular quote from the late Steve Jobs: “If you want to make everyone happy, don’t be a leader – sell ice cream,” not for its insight, but because it flies in the face of what engineering is meant to do, which is “make all clients happy,” she insists.

“Engineering evolves and progresses with the needs of the people, so if your customer is satisfied you’re going to endure.”

She is also quick to point out how satisfied and appreciative she is of her time so far at the Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre. “It has provided me the opportunity to work with updated design software and the latest 3D printing and scanning technologies. Every day it has something different to offer. It works to bring ideas to life.”

Those ideas, says Anusha, can be a big deal to a small company armed only with an innovative concept. “A client has come up with an idea and we don’t know how long it has taken to develop the idea; maybe they’ve been working on it for three years and they are expecting a lot from you to make this idea a reality. It’s a big deal for them,” she explains. “Another great thing is being able to take just an idea and develop it into a real-life thing … this is the beauty of working here.”

“My family taught me that being a youth of the society, the world looks up to us with the hope that we’ll make it a better place to live.”

Her experiences so far at NC have deepened her commitment to engineering so much that she plans to further her studies at a university level to obtain her degree.

While she misses her parents back home, along with her brother, it so happens that Anusha’s sister has also relocated to this area and is obtaining her dentistry equivalent licence to continue her dental practice here.

Yet, being an international student, new to the country and working to cover living expenses can be challenging, she acknowledges. “When I look back at these past two years, it’s just been work and school every day and every night. I’m completely financially independent,” she says, proud of how hard she has worked. “With all these experiences I’ve had with WAMIC, I have learned that if you have the will, nothing can stop you.”

That “will” can be traced back to her family of professionals who stressed the importance of education.

“My family taught me that being a youth of the society, the world looks up to us with the hope that we’ll make it a better place to live.”

She seems to be doing just that. – R&I