»While you are in high school you are still young and you are full of dreams and a desire to change the world»

»While you are in high school you are still young and you are full of dreams and a desire to change the world»

Seventh interview for the project YoungHumansOfScience where I try to interview people related to this field and understand their stories in order to close the gap between society and science. Interview to: Yassine Khalili Farissi

While you are in high school you are still young and you are full of dreams and a desire to change the world. At first, I was interested in medicine, but I saw that I was more suited to optimizing processes, and engineering was that, learning how to optimize.

»So I decided to go on the path that would give me the tools that I would need to make a change.»

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

Adam:How did you notice that you were more interested in this path?

I cant answer that completely, because I havent tried the  other paths, but I like how this one always forces you to think about how to optimize and how you always have to think outside the box in orer to solve the problems they present you. It is like a constant challenge and I enjoy having to think all the time.

Chemical engineering gave me a chance to work in trying to make processes related to energy use more efficient. One of the biggest problems we have nowadays is the energy availability and one of the disciplines in my field is based on cogeneration, meaning to use the energy produced in a process for another so that you can reduce energy expenditure.

Adam:How would you say your way of thinking has changed?

Photo by Bill Oxford on Unsplash

I noticed that as I worked in this career my way of thinking started to change. I learned to constantly ask the question ‘What is the root of this?’ to understand what is the point of what we are doing, as well as how to work and learn on my own.

You get more used to adapting to changes, for example in the industry you are always competing and you have to improve cosntantly in order to make the most of new and more efficient methods and you can’t remain still if you want to continue.

One of my favourite subjects was fluid mechanics. There they gave us problems where we had to use approximations in order to be able to solve them, and these problems also changed depending on the circumnstances, you couldn’t use the same approximations all the time.

While in other STEM disciplines you work with what happens, in the case of engineering you have to work with approximations, and what impresses me the most is how those approximations actually give you something that works.

Adam:Why did you chose this field?

I would say that it was destiny. I applied for engineering in the field of renewable energies as my first choice, but well sometimes you end up in a different path than you imagined. Ending in here actually gave me the chance to see that I like physics way more and this field is really wide so I can take it in different directions.

Adam:What is your biggest struggle right now?

My biggest struggle right now is the uncertainty. Up until you finish your bachelor’s degree you know which path to follow, or at least which would be the next step. But when you finish it, you don’t know which path to follow and that uncertainty is worrying me. My biggest struggle is deciding which path to follow from now on.

My call was always related to improving the quality of life of others. That is why I was interested in medicine at first, as well as the reason why I was considering the field of renewable energies.

I want to help improve the quality of life because it helps me feel like I am giving something and the feeling of wholeness that comes with it.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Adam:What would you advice to those who are just finishing high school?

They have to develop their perseverance. If you want to achieve something you need effort. Effort  is what lets you go on even when you have problems, what lets you continue until you reach your goal.

Adam:Was there a time when you couldn’t follow your advice?

There were times when I failed a subject after working really hard for it. At that point, you feel like you want to leave everything. But then I remember that I have to continue even if it is hard, and you do and you see that in the en,d you manage it. Another advice could be, that you shouldn’t make important decisions when you are feeling down or just after you had a bad time, because you will regret them.

Adam:Is there any book you would recommend that has changed you?

1984 by George Orwell, it’s a great book to broaden your horizons and learn how to accept and develop new points of view. It also gives you an understanding of how society works as well as different perspectives about it.

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