RIT Dubai graduate merges art and engineering careers – News

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Published: Mon 8 August 2022, 10:53

A graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in Dubai, Zulfa Rasheed set out to challenge professional traditions and prove that the worlds of art and engineering can unite in a single career path. Exposed artist and practicing electrical engineer, Rasheed pursues her talents to make a name for herself in the two traditionally opposed industries.



Unwilling to give up either of her childhood passions, Zulfa found herself following the example of the famous Renaissance painter, Leonardo da Vinci, who saw science and art as allies. and not opposites. Working as both an artist and an electrical engineer, Rasheed carried Leonardo da Vinci’s vision to the present day.

Rasheed explained, “In high school, my dream was to become a design engineer or an architect; work in any field that combines art and engineering, so I can continue to do both. Yet, I was often told that one day I would have to choose between the two careers, and I didn’t know which direction to take. When I went to college, I discovered the parallels between the two disciplines; artists and engineers both aim to create something, it’s just their style of thinking that’s different. I believe that by combining the two we can create something truly unique.

Rasheed’s official career as an artist began when she joined the Kalba Art Center in 2010. She was artist-in-residence at Fujairah Cultural and Media Authority’s Art House, Fujairah Fort between 2018 and 2019. Thanks to a combination of impressionist and abstract styles, Rasheed has used the lantern as her main subject and has produced the “Lantern” series of artworks since 2017. She joined the Fujairah Fine Arts Academy (FFAA) in 2020 and became a Fellow of the Emirates Academy of Fine Arts earlier this year.

Rasheed has facilitated over 20 workshops and participated in over 40 art exhibitions and events in the UAE and abroad, including a performance with the FFAA at the Expo 2020 Dubai Youth Pavilion. Also a promising calligrapher specializing in Naskh and Thuluth, Rasheed was recently one of the participating artists at the Al Azhar Al Sharief Forum for Arabic Calligraphy and Ornamentation in Cairo.

Alongside her impressive credentials as an artist, Rasheed works to support the UAE’s transition to renewable energy, in her role as an electrical engineer, independent researcher and project manager. While studying at RIT Dubai, Rasheed was the winner of the 2020 Lean Six Sigma Technical Paper Competition, organized by the Industrial Engineering and Operations Management Society. Since graduating, Rasheed has worked on projects with the Clean Energy Business Council and his current employer, the Middle-East Solar Industry Association.

Having discovered that she can combine her two passions, Rasheed aims to set her own example and demonstrate how the two disciplines can work together for a better future. She concludes: “The idea of ​​combining engineering and art is not new, but it will take on increasing importance in the future. Artistic expression brings a sense of balance and fulfillment in a world increasingly driven by artificial intelligence. I believe that interdisciplinary thinking will be key to developing creative solutions to emerging societal challenges and so we must continue to encourage the union of art and engineering.

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