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Jamila Alsuwaidi: ‘Since the moment I conducted a research on reactor physics, it opened my mind to the fascinating science of nuclear energy.’ 

Jamila Alsuwaidi was inspired by physics since she was in primary school, wanting to examine Materials Science – from the atomic scale, all the way up to the macro scale. As she obtained several degrees in Nuclear Physics, she now enjoys her successful career as a Senior Nuclear Safety Assessment specialist at the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR).


Jamila Khamis Alsuwaidi,  born and raised in the Emirates, says “I was always thrilled by the science of physics, which gives a profound explanation of how things move and interact - from Kepler’s Laws of planetary motion to the nuclear forces within atoms.”


Since her school days, Jamila’s life took a fascinating journey that led her to become one of the few female Emirati scientists in nuclear physics - an inspiration for many Emirati fellows.  


Today, Jamila is a Senior Nuclear Safety Assessment Specialist at the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) – an independent government body charged with regulating and licensing nuclear activities in the UAE.

February 2016

Jamila Alsuwaidi, Senior Nuclear Safety Assistance at the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation, Abu Dhabi   

Jamila, who has a degree in Physics from the United Arab Emirates University, made her first move towards a scientific career at the Ministry of Health (MoH). She worked there for more than 10 years as a Physicist responsible for radiation protection in medical applications such as X –rays and nuclear medicine.


At that time, MoH also served as the UAE’s regulatory entity for radiation protection in the medical sector.


These years of experience built her expertise through trainings in radiation protection, dosimetry, and quality assurance for optimization of radiation applications in medicine.


Captivated by the power of knowledge, she continued her education by obtaining a Master of Science Degree in Nuclear Physics. She conducted her research on Nucleus-Nucleus interactions at high energies.


“Since the moment I conducted a research in reactor physics, it opened my mind to the fascinating science of nuclear energy.”


“These new horizons led me to explore other nuclear areas and steered me toward joining FANR just after it was established in 2009.”


Jamila brought to FANR her extensive experience in radiological protection in nuclear medicine, where she began to specialize on risk and safety management in the emerging countries.


“I have participated in FANR’s systematic training programme, through which I gained my second Master’s degree in Risk and Safety Management with distinction from Liverpool John Moores University in 2011.”


Today, Jamila plays a leading role within FANR’s nuclear safety team reviewing the safety analysis reports of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), including the application for a license to operate the country’s first nuclear power plant.


All four reactors of the UAE’s Barakah Nuclear Power Plant are currently under construction in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi.


“Our nuclear safety team comprised of leading international and national experts having great depth of knowledge. We are strongly committed to our mission to protecting the public, workers and the environment from the harmful effects of ionizing radiation throughout the country.”


“In my work at FANR, I have been inspired by the probabilistic risk assessment field which requires in-depth understanding of technical aspects of the nuclear power plant starting from reactor physics, accident analysis and security to the success criteria of different accident scenarios in order to understand and evaluate the concept of such risks.”


“I am proud of being a part of the generation of Emirati nuclear energy pioneers.”


Her success over the past years doesn’t stop her from excelling further.


Jamila currently participates in the leadership programme aimed to nurture future Emirati leaders.


She is also enrolled in a PhD in Nuclear Engineering at the Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research in the UAE.  


“The nuclear sector is a promising field, and the UAE need knowledgeable and competent Emiratis to ensure the bright future of the country.”  


Interview by Jennet Orayeva (Jennet.orayeva@uae-iaea.org)





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