Susanna Noureddine, Principal Façade Engineer
“I love how fundamental the sector I work in is. It is part of everyday life without people knowing.”
Susanna Noureddine, Principal Façade EngineerOpen positions
Principal Facade ConsultantT: +971 4 3343616
Not everyone can point to a holiday as a career-defining moment, but it all began with a trip to my country of birth when I was 12 years old - my parents left Lebanon during the civil war in 1986 when I was five months old. Spending my days walking around war-torn Lebanon, I would fantasise how I would repair the broken walls and damaged streets. I was hooked by the entire construction process of bringing life to buildings and communities. From then on, I wanted to figure out how to apply this passion and realised a career in architecture would be an exciting one full of problem-solving using both scientific and creative skills.
This industry is my passion. It is filled with exciting opportunities and numerous challenges
With a bachelor’s degree in architecture, I specialised in Facades with a master’s in International Façade Design and Construction which allows me to focus more about the “face” of a building and how both the internal and external are influenced by design. I love how facades are part of everyday life without people knowing, that their comfort on the interior of the building is mostly driven by the parameters set for the façade. I am attracted to the complexity of thermal properties, daylight, and natural ventilation that are all factors influenced by the façade design. This is linked to the overall energy consumption of the building when trying to regulate indoor temperatures and comforting the user.
As a Principal Façade Engineer in Ramboll’s Middle East buildings division, I deliver projects across the region and present clients with sustainable, technically sound and cost-effective solutions.
No two days are the same, which keeps me on my toes. I enjoy the variety of work, the constant challenges and the mix of personalities and ideas that comes with delivering façade engineering on some of the most iconic projects ever designed.
I wanted to be part of a company that reached far and wide and affected everyone in society
When I moved to Dubai from a very small town in Germany where the livestock outnumber the residents, I knew my biggest challenge would be personal. Without the family infrastructure to support me, I had to believe in my capabilities and do the work the way I am convinced is the right way. At Ramboll, I have been recognised for the skills and innovative ideas I bring to my field and empowered to deliver my projects. Powered by the knowledge that I can at any time reach out to so many people within our organisation worldwide for support, whether professional or personal, substitutes not having my family with me.
Most of my role models have been men who have given professional career advice but not necessarily well equipped to provide a broader perspective of issues affecting women in a male-dominated industry. I have been inspired to do more especially after reading an article of the most influential architects of the past century where only one female made the list, Zaha Hadid - a female with Arabic roots whose focus was creating spaces to inspire and share creativity. I firmly believe, if each of us could influence young females to choose engineering or architecture as a career, and they in turn did the same and so on, we could develop significant numbers in young female talent and positively impact not only their careers but also the future of our industry.
It means a lot to be part of company where I can contribute to change. Through my role as the Chair of Ramboll’s Professional Women’s Network (PWN) in the Middle East and India, I work with like-minded female colleagues where we try to promote equality within the company. Through this platform, and supported by Ramboll’s management, we can discuss and elevate equality issues while also inspiring our female colleagues to reach out to young talent by sharing our experiences and lessons learned via training sessions, panel discussions and insights from women in leadership.
In 2019, we (the PWN) initiated a programme called “introduce girls to engineering” where high school girls from a local school were invited to our Dubai office where we gave an overview of engineering as a profession and how engineering uses innovative design and technology to shape communities and solve construction challenges around the world. I’d like to think that this initiative is one small step in driving change to the engineering sector that means so much to many of us working in it.