Racha Doumit is well on her way towards fulfilling her dream of becoming a humanitarian engineer. In fact, the Lebanese American University (LAU) spring 2021 graduate has already secured a job at the Lebanese Red Cross (LRC) – no easy feat given the country’s economic collapse and widespread unemployment.
In her new role as a Hard Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Officer at the LRC she serves the community and puts her knowledge and skills gained at LAU to good use.
“The LAU School of Engineering offered me the opportunity to grow as a professional in the humanitarian field by allowing me to pursue the project with the LRC as a Final Year Project, which led to securing my new role as a WASH Officer with them today,” Doumit explains.
Her career with LRC began when she was a student – in large part thanks to LAU, which prepared her for the complex work she does today. While pursuing her mechanical engineering degree at LAU, Doumit served as Design Engineer within the LRC’s Disaster Management Sector, supporting their efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic by designing handwashing and sanitation stations for their field work around the country.
Today, as a LRC WASH Officer, she continues to create real life solutions for the many sanitation, hygiene, and health threats Lebanon currently faces. In the process, she hones her engineering skills before pursuing her education further.
Though she received offers from several of the United Kingdom’s leading universities – including King’s College London and the University of Manchester – she deferred her acceptances to commit to gaining real-life experience.
She traces her role at the LRC back to LAU and all the support it provided her with as a student. Without the financial aid she received throughout her degree, she says she may never have realized her ambition to become a humanitarian engineer.
In fact, Doumit says that before joining LAU, she struggled to define her career path. “Over the years I spent at LAU, I was always given the support and advice I needed to finally define myself as a humanitarian engineer,” she reflects.
She was able to prosper academically thanks to financial aid that covered her tuition at LAU, which also allowed her to be involved in several of LAU’s extracurricular student clubs. From LAU Simulation Models, to the 180 Degrees Consulting Club, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers – she claims she would never have been able to take part in any of it had it not been for the support she received from her alma mater.
“My participation in the extracurricular clubs at LAU taught me a great deal about servant leadership, resilience, diligence, and discipline, shaping me into the Humanitarian Engineer that I am today,” Doumit highlights.
Now, as she embarks on her journey to success as a humanitarian engineer, she continues to link her drive to do so back to her decision to attend LAU in the first place.
“LAU has helped me understand that I have much to offer as an engineer with a background in humanities, and helped solidify my convictions that engineering should serve a humanitarian purpose,” states Doumit.
As conditions in Lebanon continue to worsen, an increasing number of LAU’s students are requiring financial aid to stay enrolled. To support students in critical need, please consider making a gift towards the LAU Emergency Financial Aid Fund.