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Celebrating Women in Engineering

SAVANNAH HILL

In her spare time, Savannah Hill is mentoring a first-grade girl from the inner city of Toledo through the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America organization.

“We’re making baby steps toward STEM thinking,” said Hill. “We’ll count cars or play I Spy. She may not know exactly what an engineer does, but she knows I help to make parts for Jeeps. She’s learning about a great field as early as elementary school.”

Growing up, Hill wanted to be a jet pilot, but decided to pursue a mechanical engineering degree at the University of Toledo. She earned an Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps scholarship and completed five years of military officer training.

“I like the problem-solving aspect of engineering,” she said. “We have a lot of problems in today’s world and not enough people looking for solutions.”

Hill added: “We should celebrate women in engineering but also continue to push for diversity in general. The more diverse we are, the more innovation we will have in our products. People with other ways of thinking may be more likely challenge the status quo. It leads to more disruption, but in a good way.”

"Engineering is for everyday people. Everybody can solve problems."

Headshot of Savannah Hill

SAVANNAH HILL, Magna Quality Engineer, TEAM Systems, Toldeo, Ohio, USA

Headshot of Savannah Hill

SARAH ABDULLATIF, Magna Software Engineer, Magna Electronics, Sailauf, Germany

SARAH ABDULLATIF

“I love it,” Abdullatif said. “I love mathematics. I love art. I love teaching. I’m experiencing all of them with engineering. I’m working on design. I implement it and I see it on the street. For me, it’s very enjoyable.”

Her current assignment is to develop future autonomous features such as crash avoidance for self-driving cars, something she predicts will “help the world and save lives.” In her spare time, Abdullatif teaches the Quran and Arabic to six- and seven-year-old children.

“Kids ask me what I do for a living,” she said. “They know I’m helping the driver. It’s very easy to explain my role in engineering to children.”

Getting her first break as a young engineer was not easy, however.

“I faced tough challenges as a veiled, married Muslim mother and as a woman in a male-dominated industry,” Abdullatif said. “My stubborn personality pushed me to never give up and my husband Ahmed Yossef has been a big support.”

Celebrating the day is important to her so that women in similar situations will “not feel alone, but supported and appreciated.”

"Engineering is not a subject, it’s a way of thinking."

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