Drexel’s co-op program gives students the chance to gain real-world
experience in their chosen field of study. For some students, a co-op also
provides opportunities to live and work abroad, immersing themselves in new
cultures. Munazzah Al Hashim, a junior studying mechanical engineering and
mechanics, recently completed such a life-shaping co-op.
Hashim spent six months as a test engineer at Tecnea – Cemafroid, a leader
in refrigeration and air conditioning based in Paris, France. The adventure
matched well with her fondness for travel.
"I love exploring new places, learning about new cultures and new people,”
she said “So being in a new country for 6 months was a great opportunity
for doing that."
Knowing French gave Hashim a head start on enjoying her time in Paris, but
she also took the opportunity to tour the European Union, spending time in
Begium, Italy, Portugal and the Netherlands.
During her work experience, Hashim conducted thermal tests on insulation
panels used for various transport vehicles, measuring heat transfer
coefficients and refrigeration system efficiencies. She also worked with
the team at Tecnea – Cemafroud to validate new methods to reduce testing
time and energy consumption.
"A lot of what I learnt in class definitely helped me during my co-ops,"
Hashim said. "I was directly using concepts from Statics, Thermodynamics,
Physics, Statistics, etc."
Hashim’s parents blended their technical and creative talents to fostered
her interest in design. Her father was an engineer, and her mother would
help her design and build crafts and science projects. When it came time to
choose a major, Hashim thought back to her childhood experiences and chose
mechanical engineering, which provided the versatility she wanted.
Hashim's first co-op with medical device company Globus Medical allowed her
to apply CAD skills as a product engineer. For her second co-op, she sought
an international opportunity with plenty of hands-on work. Tecnea -
Cemafroid was a perfect match. Overall, Hashim's co-ops have reaffirmed her
passion for mechanical engineering.
"Due to the flexibility that mechanical engineering gives you, I was able
to work in two completely different industries without any issues," she
With a diversity of hands-on experiences under her belt, Hashim gained
technical skills, cultural awareness and professional confidence that will
serve her well on the path to an accomplished engineering career.