International Women in Engineering Day 2021: Fatima Muktar

Fatima Muktar, PhD student, Engineering

Fatima, USW's Treforest Campus

This year we’ll be celebrating the amazing work that women engineers around the world are doing to support lives and livelihoods every day. 

Fatima Muktar is a full time doctoral candidate at USW and a member of the Advanced Materials Testing Centre (AMTeC) group. Nigerian-born Fatima has a background in safety, health and environmental management. Before embarking on a PhD, she completed the MSc Safety, Health and Environmental Management.

"Improper or indiscriminate waste disposal such as open dumping, open burning, incineration, composting, and dumping into drain channels, rivers and streams is a global issue leading to environmental degradation, economic problems and affecting public health.

"In Nigeria, with a populace of more than 210 million, the number of inhabitants together with urbanisation and consumption behaviour has contributed to high levels of solid waste, which is not always disposed of in an environmentally sustainable manner. 

African city suburbs, Abuja, Nigeria - GettyImages-489555642.jpg

Abuja is the capital and eighth most populous city of Nigeria

"Despite the introduction of waste management programmes, regulatory frameworks and policies to address the issue, improper waste disposal remains common practice across Nigeria. This is because these efforts do not tackle the root cause, which is the role society plays in the disposal of waste.

"My doctoral research looks at the social and cognitive behavioural factors that influence people’s waste disposal practices in Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria. It is the first research of its kind to focus on Abuja and analyses the gap between the major stakeholders in waste management, such as inhabitants producing and disposing of waste, policy makers, regulatory bodies and private organisations.  

"Further on in my PhD, I will be designing a waste management intervention model that will not only include all stakeholders but provide a platform for people to offer feedback - this will ensure continuous improvement of the waste management system in place.  

"I hope my research will serve as best practice guidance to local authorities, policy makers, and private waste management sectors across the country, and assist them in setting up an effective waste management system."

"I am proud to be studying my PhD at USW. I chose USW because it is an incredibly diverse university and provides a safe and welcoming environment to international students from all over the world where everyone feels included and has equal rights, opportunities and respect, regardless of their background."

Fatima's supervisory team is: Dr Paul Ryall (DOS), Dr Jonathan Oti and Professor John Kinuthia.