FSU Engineering Student Profiled for “Women in Technology”

Dec 14, 2020 9:25 AM

As a young girl, Frostburg State University student Kaoutar Sahmoudi always had engineering on her “radar.” But it was a career path that was uncommon for women and, particularly, women of color. Now, Sahmoudi’s commitment to pursue her dream is receiving international recognition.

The FSU engineering major, with a concentration in materials engineering, secured an internship with Oceaneering Aerospace and Defense Technologies, where she was profiled in the company’s “Women in Technology” series, an online feature addressing women in the male-dominated field of engineering. Oceaneering is a provider of services and products for the offshore energy industry and has nearly 90 offices worldwide.

“I was thrilled to find out that Oceaneering wanted my take and to be featured in their series,” she recalls. “I was humbled and grateful, but also eager to share my experience so that it could be a motivation for others in my shoes.”

Sahmoudi, who was born in Morocco and raised in Baltimore City, was set to attend Rutgers University, but decided on FSU after taking a closer look at its engineering program.

“I needed a school within Maryland that offered engineering, small class sizes, was affordable and a decent distance away from home. Frostburg fit all categories,” the senior says. “Being able to have the one-on-one help from professors in this rigorous major is extremely necessary.”

Dr. Zhen Liu, assistant professor in the FSU Department of Physics and Engineering, notes that Sahmoudi has the drive needed to succeed in the challenging field of engineering. She has taken on extra responsibilities within her major, including serving as past president of the FSU chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers.

“Kaoutar was very persistent to apply for opportunities, scholarships and full-time jobs,” says Liu, noting that Sahmoudi has shared her knowledge from her internship at Oceaneering with her FSU peers and is leading senior capstone projects. “We will be using her expertise to train more students.”

During her internship, Sahmoudi designed and created 3D models of subsea vehicles for government contractor projects. She hopes to secure a position doing similar research after her graduation and make her childhood dreams of being a professional engineer a reality.

“I am eager to start putting my skills, knowledge, creativity to work,” she says.

For more information on the FSU Department of Physics and Engineering, call 301-687-4201 or visit online at www.frostburg.edu/engineering.

Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 12 institutions of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland. For more information, visit www.frostburg.edu or facebook.com/frostburgstateuniversity. Follow FSU on Twitter @frostburgstate.