BREAKING BARRIERS: UAE-based Filipina wins Highly Commended Plumbing Engineer of the Year at MEP (Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing) Middle East Awards 2020

A Filipina engineer based in the UAE has been awarded as the ‘Highly Commended Plumbing Engineer of the Year’ at the recently concluded MEP (Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing) Middle East Awards 2020.

Jessica A. de Torres, a Senior Public Health Engineer, has proven her prowess in the industry that is dominated by man after being recognized in one of the most prestigious engineering awards in the region.

MEP Middle East Awards recognizes individuals and companies who have made distinct contributions to the sustainable development of the construction landscape in the Middle East.

“I’ve been in this practice for almost 10 years and this is the first time I have ever received such an award. Being nominated is already huge but being awarded Highly Commended of the Year is way more meaningful to my career and as a woman,” she said. “It’s overwhelming to be recognized for my hard work in the career that I am very passionate about.”

She added that this award proves that women can definitely succeed in whatever field they choose to, even if it is dominated by men.

“Gender dominance in the industry can serve an inspiration for us women to work hard. As a woman, I know I can impart my knowledge and make a huge difference in this industry,” Torres said.

She said she decided to become a plumbing engineer because she wanted to not only feel challenged, but to also make a huge impact to the community.

“Mostly, when we see a building, we only see the aesthetic of it, but we don’t really see or appreciate the services within that make it functional. I was challenged by this thought, that plumbing services make a huge impact to the overall operation and sustainability of the building.  The more I get to know about the field itself, the more I get eager to learn and be part of it,” said the Filipina.

Torres noted that she was not immune to the challenges of penetrating the industry. In fact, she said that there were a lot.

However, she said that she knew women can do equally whatever men can do in this field, and that became her mantra in becoming the renowned professional she is today.

“Every project I handle is challenging in different ways. But being optimistic is an integral part of any problem solving as it helps me to look into possible solutions from different perspectives. Every experience adds up. All these together molded me into a stronger person that I am today,” she added.

Torres also encouraged women to continue breaking the barriers and making their voice heard, even if it is in an industry where there is gender disparity. As for women aspiring to be engineers aspirants, she said that anyone can definitely play a leveling field as long as they have critical thinking.

“All the challenges that you will go through will be all worth it once you get involved in the engineering industry, especially when you see your design ideas being constructed and being turned into reality,” she said.

“Keep doing things that you are passionate about and close to your heart as this will keep you motivated to step-up and get recognized even in the industry that is known to be dominated by men,” Torres added.

Jamille Domingo-Marasigan

Jamille Domingo-Marasigan gathers stories on a wide array of topics, particularly on the Philippines, UAE, Saudi, and Bahrain—which are published on The Filipino Times Newspaper, The Filipino Times Website, and The Filipino Times Newsletter. She also presents the news on cam in the pre-recorded daily broadcast of The Filipino Times Newsbreak—a run-through of the most important events of the day, reaching 5,000 to 20,000 views—to deliver stories to audiences inclined to audio-visual content online. For recommendations and story pitches, you can reach her at [email protected]

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